RISE TOGETHER Survey: Wisconsin middle, high school students report use of harder drugs

By Shamane Mills

Wisconsin Public Radio

A recovery group started by former addicts has surveyed Wisconsin middle and high schoolers in 27 different counties and found the most widely used substances are alcohol and marijuana but that students report using harder drugs.

A survey conducted by the group Rise Together used self-reported data from nearly 3,000 students.

Anthony Alvarado, the group's co-founder, said nearly 20 percent said they had tried prescription pills.

"That's extremely alarming because it's an opiate-based substance and that (can) transition into illicit drug use, specifically heroin for the most part," he said.

Alvarado said that they will share their survey data with schools and hope that it encourages more drug prevention efforts.

A method supported by the state Department of Health Services, called SBIRT, or Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment, is already used in some schools.

More WPR news is available on KUWS-FM 91.3 or online at wpr.org.

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