Science, Health and Technology
5:42 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Report shows Callaway County teens lead Missouri in alcohol consumption and drug abuse

A report released by the Missouri Department of Mental Health shows teens in Callaway County report higher alcohol and drug use than teens anywhere else in Missouri.

In the 2010 Missouri Student Survey, nearly 25 percent of Callaway County youth reported using alcohol in the previous 30 days, compared to the state average of 19.8 percent. Holt’s Summit Police Lieutenant Bryan Reid says he has seen an increase in teen drug use in the past few years. He says this phenomenon is causing trouble in more ways than one.

“We’ve seen it related more and more to problems, I mean, some of it is criminal activity, some of it is fighting, some of it is curfew violation, running away, parents not being able to locate their children,” Reid says. 

Reid blames the increase in drug use on easy accessibility of drugs he calls “fakes,” like synthetic marijuana and bath salts. He says the Holt’s Summit police has taken measures to keep drug use out of the community, but says it’s easy for kids to go to another town and get more. The report also showed Callaway teens had higher binge drinking, prescription, and over-the-counter drug use compared to the averages for Missouri.