Poverty and Substance Use: Buffering the Negative Effects

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*Findings from the 2016 Minnesota Student Survey from SUMN.org

Nearly 3 in 10 Minnesota kids live in poverty or low-income households*

29% of MN public school students say they receive free or reduced-priced lunch.

6,500 students say they experienced homelessness in the past year. 

Over 7,500 students say they’ve had to skip meals in the past month. 


Poverty has more than just economic effects: Students who meet 2 of 3 of the above criteria for poverty are…

1.9x more likely to report alcohol use

2.5x more likely to report tobacco use

3.3x more likely to report marijuana use

4.3x more likely to report prescription drug misuse


Caring adults can minimize the effects of poverty:

Of student in poverty, those who feel adults in their communities care about them are much less likely to use substances

To view infographic produced by SUMN.org click here

*Data from the 2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book: http://www.cdf-mn.org/research-library/MN-kids-count/kc-mn-databooks/2017/2017-minnesota-kids-count.pdf ^All other data on Minnesota students from the results of the 2016 Minnesota Student Survey. Nearly 169,000 students participated in the survey. Questions on substance use were answered by 8th, 9th, and 11th graders. For more information on substance use in Minnesota, see www.sumn.org.

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