Survey Finds Prescription Drug Abuse Among Teens
Fourteen percent of high school juniors in California said they have used prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes, according to a Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs survey released Wednesday, the Ventura County Star reports.
The study, which has been conducted biennially since 1986, measures teenagers' use of alcohol, marijuana and other drugs. This is the first year questions about prescription drugs have been included (Herdt, Ventura County Star, 10/5). The survey polled more than 10,000 California students in seventh-, ninth- and 11th-grade classrooms between September 2005 and February (Asbury/Miller, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/4).
According to the Star, the survey shows "that a sharp decline in teen drug and alcohol use from the 1980s and 1990s has continued" (Ventura County Star, 10/5).
However, alcohol remains the leading substance abused by teens, with 60% of 11th-graders and 27% of seventh-graders reporting alcohol consumption within the last six months (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/4).
The study also finds:
- 9% of ninth-graders and 4% of seventh-graders are using pharmaceuticals without a prescription;
- Illicit use of prescription drugs is the third most commonly abused drug by teens. Previously, the inhalants ranked third (Thompson, AP/Los Angeles Daily News, 10/5); and
- 30% of 11th-graders, 19% of ninth-graders and 6.5 % of seventh-graders said they have used marijuana in the last six months (Ventura County Star, 10/5).
Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell said he will use the survey data to push for additional funding for student assistance programs that provide intervention and treatment for drug abuse (Ventura County Star, 10/5).
Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" on Thursday reported on the survey. The segment includes comments from Jett (O'Mara, "KXJZ News," CPR, 10/5). The complete transcript is available online. The complete segment is available online in Windows Media.
In addition, KPBS' "KPBS News" on Wednesday reported on the survey. The segment includes comments from Jett (Tintocalis, "KPBS News," KPBS, 10/4). The complete transcript is available online. The complete segment is available online in Windows Media.