Dr. Kevin Sabet

Dr. Kevin Sabet speaks to members of the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition in September as the group works on the issues. In the background Select Board Members Katie Conlon and Michael Zullas.

While the results of a town-wide Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) show a significant reduction in alcohol and marijuana use in teenagers over the past five years,  binge drinking and the use of alcohol remain higher than state levels among Milton High School students.

Vaping is a problem that made its way into schools “like a tsunami” in the past two years. 

Students in Grades 9-12 also reported serious mental and behavioral health issues including “staggering levels of depression and anxiety, and the town saw the number of students who have considered suicide almost double.

Representatives from the Milton Public Schools, the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, and the town’s Youth Task Force recently presented the results of the survey to the School Committee and the Select Board.

These results will be rolled out to staff, parents and guardians, and students in the upcoming months in a series of professional development and parent information sessions. 

Students will also see changes in curriculum and more targeted support measurers.

Noel Vigue, Milton’s director of health and physical education, stressed that the decreases in alcohol and marijuana use, which took place in just a four to five year period, are “quite profound and impressive” gains.

Vigue said that other “good news” came in the area of marijuana use. Milton is lower in the state for marijuana use in students and saw a decrease.  

(More on this story can be found in the Milton Times issue of Oct. 10 in print and in the e-edition.)

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