Perceived Substance Abuse Problems in the Community

The Community Survey, administerd by Service Providers and Community Coalitions, from 2016 to 2019, contained a series of questions developed to measure whether substances were a problem in the community. The survey asked commuity members the following: How much of a problem is the following in your community? The following reports data on each of the four counties from which we collected data, across the last three program years.

Perceived Ease of Access for Youth to Obtain Substances in the Community

Ease of access by youth to substances is a risk factor that may lead to increased misuse and abuse. Community members were asked how easy, or hard, they thought substances were for youth to obtain. The following reports data on perceieved ease of access by demographics

Perceptions of Risk and Harm by Program Year

Perceptions of risk and harm is a key protective factor from the Pervention perscpective. The greater the perceived risk of using a substance, the less likey that usage may occur. The following graph represents the percentage of those who indicated there was a "great risk" with using the substance for the past three program years.

Substance Related Messaging

Service Providers and Community Coalitions are developing and implementing a series of substance-use messaging in the community. The following chart reports data on whether the community is aware of these messages, and whether awareness has grown over the past three program years, 2016-2019.

Effectiveness and Method of Exposure to Messaging

The first chart report data on whether messaging was effective in changing behavior. The second chart reports data on the ways that messages were viewed or heard.

Medication Disposal: Awareness of Disposal Sites and Usage

The Sidewalk Survey is a community-level survey focused on issues around medication misuse and abuse. The following table reports percentages of selected surey items on medication disposal.

Are you aware of any permanent safe medication disposal sites for prescription or over-the-counter drugs in your community? 59.2%
If yes, have you used the medication disposal site? 34.1%
If no, why did you not use a medication disposal site?
- Do not need to use drop boxes for my medications42.3%
- Unaware of location of drop boxes37.5%
- Transportation issues6.6%
- Drop box locations are often closed when I can go5.1%
- Safety issues or concerns1.6%

Effectiveness of Youth-Based Evidence Based Programs

Program offered by Service Providers attempt to develop protective factors in youth. This is done through developing life skills, building self-efficacy, increase peceptions of risk and harm with using substances, and teaching refusal skills. The Adolescent Survey is a pre-post test given to youth who participate in Evidence Based Programs implemented Service Providers to mesure whether these programs are effective. During 2018-19, there was a total of 174 youth served, and of those 127 were matched surveys from pre-test to post-test. All four items evidenced a significant increase when comparing from pre-test to post-test.

Description of the Data

The above dashboard reports data from the Community Survey administerd by Providers and Community Coalitions in four counties in Southern Arizona: Cochise County, Pima County, Pinal County, and Yuma County. The Community Survey is an instrument designed to gauge attitudes and behaviors around substance usage by youth. It was administered on a quarterly basis from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2019.

The survey was confidential and voluntary. Topics covered by the Community Survey included the severity of problems associated with various substances use in the community, ease of access, awareness of substance use messaging, perceptions of risk and harm, and methods of obtaining substances. Surveys were available to all residents within a service provider target area in paper, on-line, English and Spanish formats.

A total of 9,596 Community Surveys were entered and available for analysis. Pima County is the largest County in terms of population and also had the largest number of surveys at 4,338, followed by Cochise County (n=2,387), Yuma County (n=1,458), and Pinal County (n=1,413). Females were in the majority of those surveyed, comprising 61.4% of the data. Over sixty percent of those surveyed were White (61.7%). Nearly half (46.8%) self-identified as Hispanic or Latino. Over three-quarters of those surveyed (79.5%) were adults over the age of 18 years, while 20.5% were youth. Spanish language surveys accounted for 8.0%. There were 2072 surveys taken on-line (21.6%%).

Adolscent Survey Items

Life skills including the following items: I can teach others, I am respected by others my age, I can be a group leader, I can give clear directions, I can run a meeting, I can lead a discussion, I am a good listener, I can follow directions.

Self-efficacy includes the following items: I will be able to achieve the goals that I have set for myself, When facing hard tasks, I am certain that I can do them, I can do things that are important to me, I can succeed at most anything to which I set my mind, I will be able to successfully overcome many challenges, I am confident that I can do many different tasks, Compared to other people, I can do most things very well, Even when things are tough, I can do quite well, I am confident that I can use my peer refusal strategies I learned to avoid pressure to smoke, drink or use marijuana.

Perception of risk is measured by asking, "How much do you think people risk harming/hurting themselves (physically or in other ways) if they:" a. Smoke one or more electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) per day?, b. Try marijuana once or twice?, c. Use marijuana once a month or more?, d. Take one or two drinks of an alcoholic beverage nearly every day?, e. Take prescription drugs such as Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin, Adderall, Ritalin, or Xanax for the purposes of getting high?


Source: Community Survey (2016-19)
Developed by Evaluation Research and Development (ERAD)
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