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National poll: Drug abuse, obesity top health concerns for youth

August 18, 2011
by News release
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Washington, D.C. – The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital has released the results of its 5th annual national poll, in which Americans rated drug abuse and childhood obesity as the top health concerns for our nation’s youth.

Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), the nation’s leading substance abuse prevention organization, issued the following statement in response to the survey:

“With drug use increasing by 9 percent in one year, it’s only natural that Americans are now waking up to the fact that this is a major public health concern that requires our immediate attention. We’ve always believed that substance abuse can and does have a major impact on children and youth, but this new survey confirms that it’s now on the radar screen of average Americans," said CADCA Chairman and CEO, Gen. Arthur T. Dean.

“This shift in perception is consistent with the findings of various national surveys showing a rise in overall drug use among those 12 and older, and in marijuana use among 12- to 17-year-olds. I hope this sends a message to our nation’s lawmakers that preventing and reducing drug abuse must continue to be a top national priority.”

The Poll asked adults to rate 23 different health concerns for kids in our communities, ranging from drug abuse and smoking to bullying and teen pregnancy. One-third of adults ranked drug abuse on par with childhood obesity, rating them both as number one health concerns.

Other concerns that ranked in the top ten were smoking and tobacco use, teen pregnancy and alcohol abuse.

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