It seems to be that the ever-present push on reducing drug and alcohol use in teens is working. According to the Connecticut Youth Behavior Survey, in 2011, 37 percent of participants stated they had never had a drink of alcohol, compared to 25.5 percent in 2005. While 60.4 percent said they had never tried marijuana in 2011 as compared to 60.2 percent in 2005, heavy use also appears to be down. Only 9.3 percent had used the drug 100 or more times, down from 10.4 percent in 2005. In addition, fewer teens had tried cocaine in 2011 (95 percent and 92.2 percent, respectively) as well as inhalants (91percent vs.
Demain Robinson, a 16-year-old at Amistad High School in New Haven, has many passions, but none quite as deeply rooted as basketball. Robinson, who will be a sophomore at Amistad in the fall, also enjoys cross-country and football. However, basketball has afforded him many more opportunities and is the sport he has played the longest. “It’s in my DNA, I would say,’’ Robinson said. “No matter where I am, I’ll stop [what I’m doing] and start playing.”
Robinson has been playing basketball on a team since he was four years old, but had been playing casually on the court before then. “I was born with a ball in my hand,” Robinson said.
Gabby Wilson is excited and nervous to be starting college in the fall at Johnson and Wales University in Providence. “It’s hard. It’s frightening,’’ said Wilson, 18, who graduated from Naugatuck High School in June. “It’s for the experience.”
She predicted it will go well if she “gets out of her comfort zone.”
Wilson plans study entrepreneurship and dreams of traveling a lot and running a successful business. Wilson has been dancing jazz and tap for many years.