Teens Reply to Behavior Survey
Chris Burrell

Given the chance to sound off about the results of a survey that tracked their behavior around alcohol, drugs, violence and sex, Island teenagers are not at a loss for words.

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After 15 Years, Youth Task Force Grows Its Mission
Aaron Wilson

When the Youth Task Force began 15 years ago, programs for teens and children struggling with substance abuse on Martha’s Vineyard were scarce.

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Island High Schoolers Join E-Cigarette Trend, Raising Concerns
Holly Pretsky

High school administrators on the Vineyard are joining educators across the country in voicing concern over what they’re calling an epidemic.

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Youth Task Force Takes Teen Pulse On Drug and Alcohol Use
Sara Brown

Citing a community effort to counter teenage drinking, the Youth Task Force announced last week that a youth behavior survey shows a decrease in alcohol use by Island teens, though the rates are slightly higher than the national average.

But they also cited concern about a rise in marijuana use, saying that the legalization of marijuana has contributed to increased use by teenagers.

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Troubling Trend in Youth: Everybody Has a Knife; Some Are Getting Used
Chris Burrell

As soon as he saw Kaleena Searle swing up her right arm, the
16-year-old boy from Tisbury knew something bad was coming his way.

"I knew I was going to get stabbed," the teenager told
police last year.

It happened on a late night in mid-June. The boy had just walked out
of Cumberland Farms carrying a quart of milk, a chicken sandwich and a
Kudos bar.

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Student-Run Program Provides Safe Rides for Teens at Night, Despite Many Obstacles
Julia Rappaport

The students manning the phones at the Hebrew Center on this January night are there to kick off the first night of the 2006 SafeRides season. The student-run program provides a free and confidential ride home to any student of the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School who is not in a condition to drive safely or who wants to avoid being a passenger with an unsafe driver.

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Data May Show Rise in Suicide Attempts by Vineyard Teens
Rachel Nava Rohr

In the last year and a half, about 16 youths (people 19 years old or younger) were admitted to Martha's Vineyard Hospital for attempted suicide, according to hospital data recently acquired by the Gazette. In the year-and-a-half prior to that, seven youths were admitted for attempted suicide.

Of the 16 attempted suicides by youths in this past year and a half, 14 occurred between January and May of this year.

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Teen Risky Behavior Centers on Alcohol
Rachel Nava Rohr

Study Released by Youth Task Force Shows Drinking Remains Prevalent,
but Fewer Teens Smoke Cigarettes

Survey results released this week about risky behavior among Island
middle school and high school students reveal few surprises about drug
and alcohol use.

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Analysis Questions Apparent Increase In Vineyard Teen Suicide Attempts
Rachel Nava Rohr

Statistics may not always be reliable, but the writing on the wall seemed pretty legible: many teenagers are having a hard time on the Island. This year’s Island-wide youth survey showed a spike in the number of students who said they attempted suicide in the last year and Martha’s Vineyard Hospital records showed a spike in the number of teens admitted for attempting suicide this year.

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