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JANESVILLE

Janesville Mobilizing 4 Change wants to survey the public on alcohol, marijuana and prescription drug use by local youth in attempt to guide the coalition’s future strategies, a spokeswoman says.

The survey is available online and asks a range of questions about minors younger than 18 and adults ages 18 to 20. It also gathers information about respondents’ personal use of alcohol, tobacco and prescriptions.

Jane Golberg, a project coordinator for the group, said the survey results will shape the group’s future activities.

Janesville Mobilizing 4 Change conducted a similar survey about four years ago, she said, and found that local youth don’t get much alcohol from liquor stores or bars.

They’re getting it from their parents, family and friends, Golberg said.

That survey also showed many respondents were unaware of the numerous 24-hour medication drop-off bins in Janesville, she said.

The group hopes to glean similar information from this year’s survey.

The document includes questions about LGBTQ youth, such as if survey-takers think young people identifying as LGBTQ are accepted and supported. Golberg said data have shown that those youth have a higher risk of substance abuse.

Golberg said the group is co-hosting a statewide Safe Schools, Safe Communities Conference on LGBTQ youth March 8 at Parker High School.

Janesville Mobilizing 4 Change, which is a state-certified prevention agency, will sponsor a number of substance-free activities in 2019.

Last year, the group hosted its first post-prom for Craig High School students. Golberg said about 40 students attended the substance-free event at RiversEdge Bowl. She said the group will host the after-prom again this year and include Parker students.

On several occasions, the group has set up an exhibit titled “Hidden in Plain Sight,” which shows through a mock-bedroom set how teenagers can hide illicit substances and alcohol inside everyday items.

Golberg said the coalition has seen measurable success over the past few years. She pointed to a youth risk behavior survey conducted by the Janesville School District, that showed a slight reduction in underage drinking by high school students since previous surveys in 2016 and 2014.

Golberg said the current survey is open to anyone in the area regardless of age.

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