Mass. Boys & Girls Club Teens Continue to Avoid Risky Behaviors at High Rate

BARNSTABLE – Latest survey statistics show Boys & Girls Club teens continue to be more likely to stay away from risky behaviors than average teens across the state and the nation.

Each spring, the Massachusetts Alliance Club survey surveys teens who participate in programs.

In 2017, 89 percent of the teens from 33 Boys & Girls Clubs in the state said they abstained from drinking alcohol compared to the state average of 66 percent, and 95 percent did not abuse prescription drugs compared to the national average of 83 percent.

The average state and national figures are compared to The Centers for Disease Control’s National Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

Nintey-eight percent of Boys & Girls teens in the state do not smoke cigarettes compared to a 92 percent state average, and 89 percent abstained from marijuana compared to 75 percent in the state and 78 percent nationally.

A higher percentage of Boys & Girls Club teens do not abuse prescription drugs compared to national average – 95 percent to 83 percent.

Seventy-five percent also say they refrained from sex, which is 7 percent higher than the state figure and 12 percent higher than the national average.

Ruth Provost, the executive director of the Cape Cod chapter of the Boys & Girls Club, said the results show the club’s programs work.

“In terms of helping kids understand where the risks are, what the risks are and how to avoid them, it makes such a huge difference in these kids’ lives,” Provost said. “It really makes me real confident that we are doing the right thing and keeping these things on track.”

The results from 2017 also show more teens in Boys & Girls programs are abstaining from several risky behaviors than in the 2016 survey.

In 2017 more teens are abstaining from sex, drinking and binge drinking. Survey results remained the same for abstaining from prescription drugs and getting at least an hour every day of physical activity, which is at 91 percent.

The Boys & Girls Club of Cape Cod is located at 31 Frank E. Hicks Drive in Mashpee.

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