Adult Beliefs and Perceptions about Alcohol, Marijuana and Prescription Drug Use among Youth

This report reveals data about adult beliefs and perceptions regarding alcohol, marijuana and prescription drug use among youth in Hubbard County. As you will read on the following pages, there are three important conclusions:

  • (1) Most adults have attitudes which will help protect youth from using alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs not prescribed to them;
  • (2) Many adults misperceive the prevalence of underage drinking and the use of marijuana and prescription drugs among youth in their community; and
  • (3) Many adults misperceive the prevalence of healthy attitudes among other adults in their community.

These three conclusions support the readiness for Hubbard County to engage in growing positive norms throughout the community.

The existing positive norms reported below reveal the community strengths that already exist and provide a solid foundation for future efforts to improve health and safety. While these norms are strong, they can always be strengthened.

The misperceptions regarding youth use and the beliefs of most other adults reveal gaps in knowledge. These gaps may increase the likelihood that youth make unhealthy choices. By helping community members learn about the concern regarding underage drinking, marijuana and prescription drug use and the hope in that most youth don’t use and most adults have healthy attitudes, a new story can emerge and further grow the positive norms in Hubbard County.


Beliefs about Underage Drinking

Beliefs about underage drinking

Adults OVER-ESTIMATED drinking by high school students.

  • 59% of adults believed most high school students in their community drink 3 or more times per month (Q32).
  • 12% adults believed most high school students in their community drink 10 or more times per month (Q32).
  • Hubbard County adults believed the three most common ways that youth get alcohol are:
    • Give someone else money to buy it (XX%)
    • Are given it by someone else other than their parents (79%)
    • and Take it from their home or a friend’s home (77%) (Q31).

Most adults have strong protective beliefs about underage drinking.

  • 88% of adults agreed that they are concerned about the harm from underage drinking in their community. However, 25% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q3).
  • 92% of adults agreed that high school youth risk harming themselves (physically or in other ways) if they drink alcohol (other than for religious purposes or at a ceremony). However, 24% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q6).
  • 89% of adults agreed that they disapprove of high school youth drinking alcohol (other than for religious purposes or at a ceremony). However, 26% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q9).
  • Whether or not they were a parent, 65% of adults would not allow their children to first drink alcohol (other than a few sips) before age 21 (Q29). However, 59% of these same adults did not think most adults in their community would feel the same way (Q30).
  • 86% of adults disagreed that it is okay for high school youth to drink at parties if they don’t get drunk. However, 38% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q26)
  • 84% of adults disagreed that high school youth should be able to drink as long as they don’t drive afterwards. However, 36% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q27).

Most adults don’t believe alcohol is essential for the enjoyment of family gatherings or social events.

  • 90% of adults agreed that alcohol use is not essential for the enjoyment of family gatherings. However, 42% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q12).
  • 88% of adults agreed that alcohol use is not essential for the enjoyment of social events. However, 46% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q13).

Beliefs about the Role of Family, Schools, Enforcement and Policy in Reducing Underage Drinking

Beliefs about the Role of Family, Schools, Enforcement and Policy in Reducing Underage Drinking

Most adults recognized the important role of parents.

  • 95% of adults agreed that parents should talk to their children about alcohol use on a regular basis, not just once or twice. However, 32% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q14).
  • 67% of adults strongly agreed that parents should establish clear guidelines and consequences with their children about drinking. However, 78% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q15).
  • 82% of adults agreed that parents should not let their underage children drink alcohol at home. However, 42% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q16).

Most adults agreed with school-based strategies.

  • 92% of adults agreed that high schools in their community should engage in appropriate activities to reduce underage drinking among their students. However, 20% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q17).
  • 92% of adults agreed that high schools in their community should enforce policies which restrict participation in activities and athletics for students found guilty of underage drinking. However, 25% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q18).

Most adults STRONGLY AGREED OR AGREED with strong local enforcement.

  • 68% of adults strongly agreed that local law enforcement should strongly enforce drinking and driving laws with all drivers. However, 62% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q19), and 23% did not agree that these laws are strongly enforced with all drivers (Q20).
  • 62% of adults strongly agreed that local law enforcement should strongly enforce laws regulating alcohol use by youth under age 21. However, 69% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q21), and 30% did not agree that these laws are strongly enforced (Q22).
  • 88% of adults agreed that adults who supply alcohol to youth under age 21 in violation of Minnesota law should be arrested and prosecuted. However, 35% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q23), and 35% did not agree that these adults are arrested and prosecuted (Q24).

Most adults AGREED with a policy to prohibit social hosting.

  • 69% of adults agreed that their community should adopt a social hosting ordinance which makes it unlawful for adults to allow underage youth (other than their children) to drink alcohol in their home. However, 48% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q25).

Beliefs about Marijuana

Beliefs about Marijuana

Adults OVER-ESTIMATED marijuana use by high school students.

  • 79% of adults believed most high school students in their community used marijuana one or more times per month (Q33).
  • Most adults have strong protective beliefs about marijuana.
  • 87% of adults agreed that high school youth risk harming themselves (physically or in other ways) if they smoke marijuana. However, 23% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q7).
  • 64% of adults strongly agreed that they disapprove of high school youth using marijuana. However, 62% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q10).

Beliefs about Prescription Drugs

Beliefs about Prescription Drugs

Adults OVER-ESTIMATED prescription drug use by high school students.

  • 75% of adults believed most high school students in their community used prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription during the last 12 months (Q34).

Most adults have strong protective beliefs about using prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription.

  • 84% of adults agreed that they are concerned about the harm from the misuse of prescription drugs among their community’s youth. However, 30% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q4).
  • 69% of adults strongly agreed that high school youth risk harming themselves (physically or in other ways) if they use prescription drugs not prescribed to them by a doctor. However, 58% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q8).
  • 74% of adults strongly agreed that they disapprove of high school youth using prescription drugs not prescribed to them by a doctor. However, 51% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q11).

Beliefs about Prevention, Campaign Awareness

Beliefs about Prevention, Campaign Awareness

  • Most adults agree they have a responsibility for the health and well-being of youth in their community and that prevention can work.
  • 71% of adults agreed they have a responsibility for the health and well-being of youth in their community. However, 42% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q5).
  • 75% of adults agreed it is possible to reduce alcohol and other drug problems through prevention. However, 38% did not feel that most adults in their community felt the same way (Q28).
  • 17% of adults reported seeing or hearing a Most students DON'T drink alcohol message a few times a month or more often (Q35).

Key Actions

Key Actions

This report fosters both concern and hope when it comes to preventing alcohol, marijuana and prescription drug use among youth in Hubbard County. While there are serious problems associated with these risky behaviors among youth, the existing positive norms provide hope and support further action.

Your voice matters in helping to create a new story in your community. Data are only helpful when put into action. Here are key actions you can take:

  • Share and discuss this report with coalition members, community leaders, and friends
  • Use this information to promote hope for successfully reducing problems associated with alcohol, marijuana and prescription drug use among youth
  • Facilitate clear guidelines among adults regarding the safe and healthy use and non-use of alcohol
  • Promote intervention and treatment options
  • Compare these results with other findings in your community
  • Use these data to guide policy development
  • Frame media and steer public conversations using these data
  • Create messages to correct misperceptions

Survey Background

Survey Background

The results presented in this report are based on the 2012 Minnesota Positive Community Norms Survey. The survey was conducted by the Center for Health and Safety Culture at Montana State University and provides community level measures of adult beliefs and attitudes. The results for Hubbard County are based on 312 surveys completed between March 1 and April 24, 2012 of randomly selected adults aged 21 and older. The statistical results presented in this report provide a 95% confidence level with a ±5.45% confidence interval.

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For more information, contact

Angela Graham, P and I Grant Coordinator

Phone: 218-255-3692
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Hubbard In Prevention Office

Frank White Education Center
301 Huntsinger Ave.
Park Rapids, MN 56470
Phone 218-255-3692