The Voice of New Hampshire’s Young Adults report outlines perspectives on substance misuse
January 5, 2017
The New Hampshire Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services (BDAS) Prevention and Education Services recently completed an extensive study that interviewed 366 young adults in New Hampshire and asked them about their attitudes and perceptions of substance misuse in New Hampshire.
The study also recruited more than 4,330 young adults in New Hampshire to complete an online survey.
Published in August of 2016, results from the study are helping agencies across the state identify prevention and treatment efforts aimed at young adults.
Some key strategies identified by New Hampshire’s young adults include:
1. Education should start early and information about other drugs, in addition to alcohol, should be provided.
2. Avoid fear-based messaging and mixed prevention messages (you will become an addict or die if you use) which conflict with their actual experience (it wasn’t that bad).
3. Mental health and coping with stress should be part of the curriculum.
4. Peer–to–peer messages are perceived to be more effective and to have greatest impact.
5. Stigma prevents communications, strains relationships, and creates psychological burden preventing help seeking, treatment, and recovery.
6. There is a need for a comprehensive approach and collective response.
7. Young adults are more trusting of medical providers due to confidentiality laws and are not as willing to talk with family because they do not want to let them down.
8. Young adults are encouraged that law enforcement are shifting to help them rather than prosecute them.
9. They want to see real effort from state/local government and to feel that they are working for the “common man.”
10. Include young adults in the decision-making and planning process.
The report is anticipated to act as a blueprint for future prevention efforts in the state.