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Students in Cheektowaga schools will be surveyed to determine the extent of alcohol and drug use.

The survey is planned by Cheektowaga United, a coalition of town and school officials and private citizens concerned about substance abuse and other problems facing young people.

Kenneth J. Kopacz, town Youth Bureau director, and James Klingelsmith of the Greater Buffalo Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, outlined plans for the survey to the Cheektowaga-Sloan School Board last week and received its approval.

The Cheektowaga Central, Maryvale and Cleveland Hill school boards also will be asked to authorize the survey, Kopacz said.

The purpose of the survey is not only to determine how extensive the substance-abuse problem is among Cheektowaga youth, but also to prepare preventive and treatment programs, Klingelsmith said.

Results of the survey also should help the group obtain state and foundation funds for the programs, Kopacz said.

The plans call for the survey to be administered in writing on the same day in all Cheektowaga schools, Klingelsmith said. Complete anonymity will be ensured, he added.

Questionnaire booklets will be used, and students' written responses will be checked by computer.

Dr. Gary Hieman of Buffalo State College is the council's consultant for the survey.

The town is financing the survey, with the school districts being asked to cover a portion of the cost, Kopacz said.

A similar survey was commissioned by the Amherst Youth Board about two years ago.

Cheektowaga United, which was organized last year, sponsored a series of discussions to assist parents in dealing with problems faced by young people.

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