Prescription Drugs

Youth Prescription Drug Core Measures: All Years
2004-2016 Youth Data Total All Grades 2004 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016
Past 30 Day Use 1% 2% 1% 2% 4% 3%
Perception of Risk 85% 87% 83%
Perception of Peer Disapproval 83% 92% 94%
Perception of Parent Disapproval 94% 98% 98%

PNA youth surveys have measured many indicators including what we call Core Measures with youth in grades 8, 10 and 12 every other year since 2004. The core measures include past 30 day use (how many times a youth reports using the substance in the past 30 days), Perception of Risk of Harm (how much does a youth perceive that the using the substance would result in risk of harm), Perception of Peer Disapproval (how wrong would their friends think it is for them to use the substance) and Perception of Parent Disapproval (how wrong would their parents think it is for them to use the substance).

Research shows a  link between youth's perception of risk, perception of peer and parent disapproval and actual youth use. What this means is that as the perception of risk of harm increases, the likelihood of a youth using the substance decreases. In Livingston County, the Perception of Risk for prescription drug use has remained high overall (grades 8, 10 and 12) in the mid 80% range.  The data tells us is that if these numbers decline an increase in youth prescription drug use is possible.

The core measure related to perception of peer disapproval of prescription drug use has seen a steady increase from 83% in 2012 (first year data for this indicator was collected) to 94% in 2016. The vast majority (90%) of 2016 12th grade students reported that if they used prescription drugs their friends would disapprove. Parent disapproval of youth prescription drug use remains at 98%. The high disapproval rates are good indicators that prescription drug use should remain low amount youth from grades 8th-12th.

While we have not seen a significant increase in youth prescription drug, environmental strategies (drug drop-off places, lock boxes) and education in the community on the importance of monitoring, securing and disposing of prescription drugs are important. The data also indicates that youth who do report using prescription drugs obtain them from friends and family members.

For more information about Precription Drug Abuse Prevention, please contact CASA-Trinity.

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