Mom blog: Ontario high school student drug use survey—parents, lock up your prescriptions!!!

Mom Blogger Jacquelyn

      P.S. (this is a prescript, as opposed to a postscript) Since I couldn’t actually post this posting until the afternoon yesterday, I’m leaving it up today, and will post anew tomorrow. If you can’t wait, the movie Enchanted was 5 stars out of 5, details tomorrow, and send your fall photos, which you now have all weekend to work on, since I will be posting them on Monday, to jacquelyn.momblog@yahoo.com!

Being the proud and terrified owner of two teenagers, I have been awaiting the release of the 2007 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey, released yesterday by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. It is in its 30th year of surveying high schoolers, and this year 6,323 students from Grade 7 to 12 took part.

The good news
• Crystal meth and methamphetamine use seems not to be enjoying the rampant popularity it has in the States:
its use dropped from 2% of the student population in 2005 to only 1% in 2007.
• Only 5% of students smoke cigarettes daily. This is the lowest figure in the study’s 30-year history.
• 72% of students have never smoked a cigarette.

The bad news
• 21% of Ontario students have used prescription opioids for non-medicinal purposes. That’s Tylenol 3 with codeine, Percodan, Percocet, Oxycodone, etc.
• 72% report they got those drugs from home! Mum’s root canal, Dad’s gall bladder operation, bottles of unused goodies just sitting in the medicine cabinet or rolling around the bedside table. GET RID OF THEM, PARENTS! I pictured kids getting together outside a locker room to procure these babies, but no, the kids are picking them up at home, like sneaking two inches out of the vodka bottle and pouring in the right amount of water. What are they sticking in your pill bottles? Or are they just grabbing the whole thing? I know I sound it, but I am blown away that kids are so high-hungry that they’ll use painkillers.
• In particular, Oxycontin use went from 1% reported usage in 2005 to 2% in 2007.
• 61% of the student pop drinks alcohol.
• 26% binge drinks (that’s slamming back 5 or more drinks).
• 16% of these kids drive after smoking dope.
• 12% drive after drinking alcohol.

Overall though, illicit drug, marijuana and alcohol use has decreased slightly or stabilized. But seeing the numbers is an eye-opener.

Get more info at CAMH’s site.

Luka
Reminder
Please go through your digi pics and send me what fall means to you and your family. I’d like to post them Friday while our American neighbours are lining up outside Macy’s at 4 a.m. for the big post-Thanksgiving retail freakout (they hope). Use jacquelyn.momblog@yahoo.com

Tomorrow
Film review time: we’re heading out to see the Disney-created revisionist fairy tale Enchanted, starring Amy Adams, James Marsden, Susan Sarandon and Patrick Dempsey, which opens tonight, on a Wednesday. That seems weird, but maybe I’m just a weekend movie date? Report to follow tomorrow!

Bye!

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2 Responses

  1. Wow. The god news is good, but the bad news is startling. Particularly the driving while under the influence. I assume that most of these teenagers are driving the parent’s vehicles and I would suggest that however much you trust your teen, be AWAKE and SOBER when they come home at midnight with that car so can tell instantly if they have had even one drink and gotten behind that wheel. We live in a small city in a rural area and for many of the teens, getting that G2 is their social life line.

    When it comes to partying and getting home, teens need to know they ALWAYS have a choice and that they won’t get slammed at home for telling the truth. If your teen wants to have a drink at a party make sure you can do the driving that night. Hey, next weekend they can repay the favour when you go out with friends. It’s just the responsible way.

  2. It is good to see that Canadian kids have very low smoking rates.

    Don’t take the Oxycontin and Vicodin news lightly, however. These are very heavy hitting drugs – extremely addicting. They are, in fact, heroin in a pill form.

    I suspect that the problem is under-reported or that the surveys have not caught up with actual use yet.

    Oxycontin is a huge problem at our school in the USA. My son graduated from high school two years ago. Of his small group of classmates, about ten of them (that I know of) became addicted to oxycontin in high school and “graduated” to heroin. Today, seven of them are full-fledged addicts that have no job and are either in jail or living at home with their parents, or are on the street.

    Oxycontin is a terriblly addictive drug and is a spider-web waiting to catch young kids who play with it. I don’t know how parents can keep kids away from drugs, but do what you can to keep your kids away from this one.

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