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Kids Using Prescription Drugs Earlier Than Marijuana and Alcohol

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A discouraging harbinger of the prescription drug epidemic was delivered in the form of a survey given by Ohio’s Coalition for A Drug Free Cincinnati to over 100 public, private and parochial school children. Students spanning grades 7th-12th participated in the annual survey where over 57,000 students took part in it in 2011. In 2011, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and non-medicinal prescription drugs were the most frequently used and in that order. This year, the Cincinnati area’s Coalition has been reported to disclose that students begin to pursue pharmaceutical highs earlier than experimenting with other substances, such as alcohol or marijuana.

Raising Oxycodone Addiction Awareness

The data was disclosed at a Tri-state summit in Kentucky, which focused on raising awareness to the growing problems of prescription opioid abuse. The summit included representatives from anti-drug agencies, parents and other campaigns from Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. A positive result from this year’s Cincinnati survey is that alcohol and tobacco use continued to decrease from years past, but concern is being raised for the increased propensity for kids to raid their parents and friends medicine cabinets for drugs like oxycodone, OxyContin, Percocet and hydrocodone in particular, coupled with other various narcotics like Xanax, Valium and also drugs prescribed to the kids themselves like Adderall. The average age for marijuana, tobacco and alcohol use is 13 years old, and those prescription drugs used non-medicinally is 12.9.

Teen Prescription Drug Addiction

What this means is that the potential for prescription drug addiction reaches into an increasingly younger demographic. So while alcohol and tobacco use has decreasing in abuse, marijuana and particularly pharmaceuticals have been abused more and by a younger demographic. And for those kids in the 12-17 year old range, the chances of suicide increase 50%. The Coalition claims that the survey results are endemic to the national averages. The disconcerting information does is tempered with the progress reports that illicit and controlled substances are becoming harder to come by and that parents are becoming more effective in impacting their children’s decisions as to whether they use drugs or not. Parents, guardians and other friends and loved ones can be a useful and effective deterrent for those struggling with substance abuse at any age. They can help find an appropiate drug rehab center too. This is especially relevant considering overdoses from oxycodone addictions are at an all time high and more and more pills are being doled out by doctors for every little malady.


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