Marathon County youth risk behavior survey reveals startling sta - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Marathon County youth risk behavior survey reveals startling statistics

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MARATHON COUNTY, Wis. (WAOW) -

Startling numbers were released from the Marathon County Youth Risk Behavior Survey on Tuesday. 

The survey originally only studied high school students but for the first time middle school students were included.

Suicide thoughts, weight loss concerns and bullying were the main focus of the 2017 study. 

"I think the survey really tells us exactly what's happening when you look at behaviors and perceptions of kids," Melissa Moore of the Drug Free Communities Program said. 

Nearly 3,000 middle school students took part in the online survey. 

Eight of the 10 Marathon County school districts participated in the middle school survey: Abbotsford, Colby, D.C. Everest, Edgar, Mosinee, Spencer, Stratford, and Wausau. 

"What's encouraging is that we continue to see 30 day use rates continue to go down in things like alcohol for example," Moore said. 

Some negative highlights were 50% of the surveyed students were bullied while at school and 12.5% of the students seriously considered suicide. 

Experts encourage parents to get more involved as some categories are on the rise. 

"Marijuana use for example, starting use, prescription drug use, again rising," Moore said. "Talking to your kids early, often about their hopes and dreams, what you want to see for them, what they want to see for themselves, and really having that plan for what's going to get you there."

In 2019 another data set will be released, experts will then be able to compare those numbers to the numbers released on Tuesday. 

For entire results from the 2017 Marathon County Youth Risk Behavior Survey, click here.

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