Public Health
11:46 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Most Tristate youth not abusing drugs, survey finds

A survey of Tristate students  finds the majority are not using or abusing drugs and other substances.

The 2014 Student Drug-Use Survey finds:

  • 95.7% do not use prescription drugs non-medically
  • 90.2% do not smoke cigarettes
  • 88.6% do not use marijuana
  • 82.2% do not use alcohol

The study is conducted every two years by the Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati (CDFGC). More than 56,000 7th-12th grade students from 107 schools took the survey this past fall.

Students whose peers and family express disapproval are more likely to make the healthy choice to not use drugs and alcohol. ~Mary Haag, CEO of the Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati

The Coalition reports peer and parental disapproval rates are at an all-time high.

In a release, CDFGC Executive Director Mary Haag says, "We know how important friends and parents are in a young person’s life. Students whose peers and family express disapproval are more likely to make the healthy choice to not use drugs and alcohol. But there is still work to be done. With this data we can increase partnerships and strengthen prevention plans in the Tristate, to further reduce and prevent youth from abusing substances.”

More study findings:

Progress and Impact:

  • Since 2000, Alcohol use declined 41% (though it has increased since 2010)
  • Tobacco use declined 53%
  • Marijuana use declined 24% (though it has increased since 2008)
  • Ease of Availability has improved by one third.
  • Since 2004, Parental Disapproval has improved 8-12%
  • Peer Disapproval has improved 30-50%
  • Since 2012, Prescription Drug use declined 34%

Areas of Concern

  • Delaying the age of first use is pivotal to preventing problems.
  • Adults need to be vigilant on access and availability.
  • Binge drinking is risky behavior.
  • Marijuana use has inched past tobacco use.

The average age students report first trying marijuana is 13.8 years old. For alcohol and prescription drugs the average ages are 13.4 and 13.3 years old respectively.