BISMARCCK, N.D. - Teens often struggle to express their feelings to their parents. But they may be willing to answer a survey honestly. Middle and high school students took part in a voluntary survey that asks some of those tough questions.
The Youth Risk Behavior Survey is taken every two years. State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler says the survey information shows high school students are drinking less and using less tobacco, but the director of tobacco and prevention for the state health department says there's been an increase in vaping.
Several questions about behavioral health are in the survey. Some are about vaping, smoking, drinking, drug abuse, suicide thoughts and bullying amongst others. Even though the overall numbers of drinking and smoking cigarettes have gone down, there's been an increase percentage of students who have had extended periods of feeling sad or hopeless or considered suicide.
"Vaping, e-cigarettes, electronic products, whatever you want to call them, has skyrocketed, and that use is over 33 percent," said Director of Tobacco and Prevention for the North Dakota Department of Health, Neil Charvat.
Baesler says the state will continue to work to make sure services are available to students and families who need them. Charvat says if you know someone who needs help quitting smoking or vaping, to contact NDQuits.