Colorado Department of Health Shows Decline in Youth Drugs, Alcohol Consumption – CBS Denver

DENVER (CBS4)– The Healthy Kids Colorado study shows that more young people have a harder time accessing drugs and alcohol, which means they consume less. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said more than 100,000 young people responded to the voluntary survey.

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“Not surprisingly, the data show that young people fought during the pandemic, as did all of us,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, CEO of CDPHE, in a statement. “But there are many positive aspects, including reduced substance use and perceived access to drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. Importantly, the study identifies the need to support and increase protective factors for blacks and LGBTQ + youth.

Important key findings from the results of high schools across the country for 2021 include:
• 40% of young people have experienced depression in the last year, compared to 35% of the last study for healthy children in Colorado, conducted in 2019.
• 51% of young people experience daily stress more often during the COVID-19 pandemic.
• The percentage of young people currently using substances has decreased – including alcohol (24%, 30% reduction), marijuana (13%, 21% reduction), cigarettes (3%, 6% reduction), electronic steam products 16%, 26% reduction), and over-the-counter painkillers (6%, 7% reduction).
• Young people find that access to substances such as alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes, electronic money and other drugs is more difficult than in previous years of research.
• Young people report an increase in perceived risk of harm from daily use of substances.

Health officials said there were differences between people of color and LGBTQ + youth in the state.

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While the percentage of young people who have seriously considered (17%), planned (13%) and attempted suicide (7%) in the last year has not changed since 2015, disaggregated data from the Healthy Kids Colorado study for 2021 show:
• 23% of gender queers / non-binary youth have attempted suicide in the last year, compared to 8% of their female peers and 4% of their male peers.
• 20% of bisexual youth, 18% of gay / lesbian youth and 11% of asexual youth have attempted suicide in the last year, compared to 4% of their heterosexual peers.
• 26% of transgender young people have attempted suicide in the last year, compared to 7% of their cisgender peers.
• 10% of multiracial youth have attempted suicide in the last year, compared to 7% of their white peers.

While the percentage of young people who have been exposed to secondhand smoke or fumes at home in the last week has fallen from 19% in 2019 to 16% in 2021, disaggregated data show that:
• 23% of gender queers / non-binary youth have been exposed to secondhand smoke or fumes at home in the last week, compared to 16% of their female peers and 14% of their male peers.
• 24% of bisexual young people, 22% of gay / lesbian young people and 20% of asexual young people have been exposed to secondhand smoke or fumes at home in the last week, compared to 14% of their heterosexual peers.
• 27% of transgender young people have been exposed to secondhand smoke or fumes at home in the past week, compared to 16% of their cisgender peers.

While the percentage of young people who have experienced hunger in the last 30 days due to lack of food at home has decreased from 15% in 2019 to 12% in 2021, disaggregated data show that:
• 18% of gender queers / non-binary young people have experienced hunger in the last 30 days, compared to 12% of their female and male peers.
• 18% of gay / lesbian young people have experienced hunger in the last 30 days, compared to 11% of their heterosexual peers.
• 20% of young people who are unsure of their transsexual status have experienced hunger in the last 30 days, compared to 12% of their cisgender peers.
• 24% of blacks / African American youth, 20% of Native American youth / Alaska and 15% of Hispanic / Hispanic / a / x youth and multiracial youth have experienced hunger in the last 30 days, compared to 10% of their youth. white peers.

Similarly, 65% of young people feel as if they belong to their school (a new issue in 2021), but disaggregated data reveal that:
• 37% of gender queer / non-binary young people feel as if they belong to their school, compared to 63% of their female peers and 69% of their male peers.
• 49% of bisexual young people, 48% of gay / lesbian young people, 48% of asexual young people feel like a place in their school, compared to 71% of their heterosexual peers.
• 38% of transgender young people feel like a place in their school, compared to 66% of their cisgender peers.
• 61% of Hispanic / Latino / a / x and multiracial youth feel like a place in their school, compared to 68% of their white peers.

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