Healthy Kids in Saguache County:
Risk Factor Profile

The Saguache County Communities That Care (CTC) is a coalition formed in 2016 focused on creating a healthy community for youth by promoting healthy lifestyle choices and preventing substance use and abuse as well as other detrimental outcomes like delinquency, teen pregnancy, school dropout, violence, depression and anxiety.

Healthy Kids Colorado Surveys (HKCS) are administered as often as each year, but generally every other year to provide data for identifying risk factors among local youth, that it has been proven can lead to the issues listed.  

Use the filter below to select a survey question and see how Region 8 compares.

Percentage of students at risk for:


Students in Region 8 perceive adults as more approving of alcohol and marijuana use than other students in the rest of Colorado.

Brain development is not complete until age 25. For the best chance to reach their full potential, youth should not use marijuana.

• Youth who use marijuana regularly are more likely to have a hard time learning, problems remembering and lower math and reading scores.

• Marijuana is addictive. It is harder to stop using marijuana if started at a young age.

• Youth who start using marijuana, alcohol, or other drugs may be more likely to continue using later in life.

Marijuana use especially stood out as a substance that students perceive adults as having an approving attitude. Over 28% of students in Region 8 responded that adults would think it's "A little bit wrong" or "Not wrong at all" to use marijuana; throughout Colorado, less than 22% of students gave these responses. This result indicates an aspect of our community, that can put our youth at risk of substance use and even abuse.

Daily or near daily use of marijuana can have a negative effect on your memory. This damage can last a week or more after the last time you used.

Nearly 25% of students both in Region 8 and at the state level also responded that it would be easy or very easy to access prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them. Our youth “perceive’ that the adults around them look favorably on or don’t care about their use of substances.

Many towns in the SLV must share law enforcement resources and so there may not be a consistent presence of police. Our coalition is creating strategies that address this reality. It comes down to educating the whole community to discourage youth substance use whenever and where ever it is seen. Take that responsibility on…we can help.


Compared to students in Colorado as a whole, students in Region 8 perceive their parents as being less approving of alcohol—but more approving of marijuana. 

Region 8 also trends below the state of Colorado on risk scales relating to poor family management, making children less likely to be predisposed to risky behaviors. Failure to provide clear expectations and to monitor children’s behavior makes it more likely that they will engage in drug abuse, regardless if the family has a history of drug problems.

Peer and Individual

Students in Region 8 are more likely than other students in Colorado to have tried drugs before the age of 13.

Students in Region 8 reported the highest overall risk factor scores for a low perceived risk of substance use (about 48% of students at risk) and favorable attitude toward substance use (nearly 50% at risk). 

Students in Region 8 also were more likely to think there's a "Slight Risk" or "No Risk" of harming themselves through substance use. However, they were less likely to state that it is "A little bit wrong" or "Not wrong at all" for kids their age to use substances than the state.

Additional Information and Resources

Communities that Care Coalition (CTC): Events and initiatives sponsored by CTC.

Saguache County Health Department: See more info on the health of Saguache County.

• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Teen Substance Use and Risks.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Find Help and Treatment.

Health Kids Colorado Survey: The purpose of the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey is to better understand youth health and what factors support youth to make healthy choices.

What is HKCS?

The Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS) periodically collects self-reported health information from Colorado public school students. A unified version was launched in 2013 that consolidates multiple needs for youth health data and allows for both state and regional-level estimates. The unified HKCS was administered in Fall 2013 to approximately 40,000 randomly-selected students from approximately 220 middle and high schools. HKCS is supported by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), Colorado Department of Education (CDE), and Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS). The University of Colorado Denver is the official vendor for HKCS.