The Missouri Department of Mental Health has released a behavioral health profile for Callaway County in 2012, revealing Callaway youth reporting higher alcohol use, binge drinking, prescription and over-the-counter drug use than their peers elsewhere in the state.
Using the most recently available data drawn from the 2010 Missouri Student Survey, a survey 24.4 percent of Callaway youth in that age range reported alcohol use in the past 30 days - up from the state average of 19.8 percent. In the same age group,13.3 percent in the same age group reported binge drinking, which is defined as five or more drinks on a single occasion, higher than the statewide 11.4 percent. Another 7.2 percent said they had abused prescription drugs, while 5 percent had abused over-the-counter medicines, as opposed to 6.7 percent and 4.8 percent for the state respectively.
Callaway County Sheriff's Office investigator Tim Osburn said he couldn't give exact statistics regarding juvenile drug and alcohol use, but he has seen the overall trend of usage increase.
"Over the course of long period of time, it's increased year after year after year," said Osburn. "It's more involved in our calls - there's more alcohol and drug abuse than there was in the past, and I think that contributes to our rising burglary rates."
eens do fall below the state average in cigarette, marijuana and inhalant use, while adults 18 and over fall below the state average in all areas of substance abuse. Expectant mothers reported to have smoked during their pregnancy have decreased in the past year by about 4 percent as well, to 22.8 percent. Alcohol-related traffic crashes are down from the past year as well, with a total of 40 crashes, only three of which were fatal.