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Parents continue to believe alcohol, marijuana use threaten their children

It’s been weeks since the Sunnyside United Community Survey was completed, but the results of the survey show some interesting findings. Taking the results of the survey distributed last December, Sunnyside United feels it needs to amp up its focus on parents perceptions about providing alcohol to minors, the implications of the current marijuana laws and prescription drug safety.

The 2013 survey results presented to the Sunnyside United committee last Thursday, revealed that 96 percent of the 606 people who took the survey still claim that their households do not contain alcohol or did not provide any alcohol to underage individuals in the home.

While most of those surveyed (78 percent) believe law enforcement is effective at addressing underage drug and alcohol use, another 11 percent strongly disagree about the effectiveness of law personnel in responding to calls about underage alcohol or other drug use.

Survey takers revealed that 14 percent feel it is okay to offer their teenage children alcohol in the home on special occasions or at other times.

When asked about what other adults might do, 35 percent of the respondents that that other parents in Sunnyside feel okay about offering alcohol to teens, Those who took the English language survey (50 percent) claimed they would tell their children about the risks of underage drinking, while 52 percent of those who completed the Spanish language survey were more likely to tell their children about the consequences of consuming alcohol.

Unfortunately 35 percent of those who took the Spanish language survey have no or limited conversations with their children about the use of marijuana. However, all parents taking the survey believed that marijuana is a serious problem in the community - 82 percent Spanish and 55 percent of those who took the English version of the survey.

According to Cathy Kelley, Sunnyside United Coordinator, last year, 65 percent of the survey respondents considered marijuana a serious problems.

Meanwhile 57 percent of the survey takers believe alcohol continues to be a serious problem in the community and 54 percent claim driving under the influence continues to be a serious problem.

Kelley said Sunnyside United collected the second highest number of surveys out of all participating cities in Washington.

“This year there were more people interested in learning about our coalition,” she added.

“We discovered that we need to do a better job of providing community education about prescription drug disposal,” she said.

Kelley said that 50 percent of the parents taking the survey said they didn’t know where to safely get rid of the drugs they no longer needed.

“Our community also needs education about current marijuana laws and the implications for Sunnyside youth,” she added.

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