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Ketchikan Youth
By Kevin Murphy


September 06, 2005

Does a part of the Ketchikan youth population have a problem with alcohol and other drugs?


Does this make us different from other cities and or rural areas?

No, not really, the numbers are similar.

Youth are smoking less marijuana but using more prescription drugs. (Twenty percent) 1 in 5 youth are misusing prescription drugs. According to the 2004 Partnership Attitude Tracking Survey, produced by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America (PDFA), prescription-drug misuse by teens now exceeds their use of Ecstasy, cocaine, crack, or LSD.

41 percent of pediatricians failed to diagnose illegal drug abuse among teens. Source: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA).
If parents and other adults are not aware of signs and symptoms of the problem, the youth with an alcohol or other drug problem will not receive a diagnosis or be treated for the problem. Left untreated, the problem will probably get worse.

Can the youth and the community do anything about the problem?

Yes, there are many facets to the solution and will not be solved by one easy fix. Here are two possible solutions. One, a safe and drug free house or home for youth to stay for hours or days so they can have the time to get well and stop using alcohol and other drugs long enough to find the motivation to stay clean. Two, a six to eight bed treatment program focused on youth living life without alcohol and other drugs. This program needs to be a minimum of ninety (90) days to one year. Youth could attend school while attending this local program.


Kevin Murphy, M.A., L.P.C.
Ketchikan Youth Initiatives
Ketchikan, AK - USA




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