YA007 Age of First Misuse - Prescription Drugs

Age of first use refers to the age at which a person first uses a substance (alcohol, marijuana, etc.).  It is one of the four core indicators identified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (SAMHSA) and the Office of National Drug Control Policy as a key indicator of substance abuse prevention needs. Prevention planners may use data about age of first use as one factor in determining when to initiate prevention programs, policies, and practices.  In addition these data are valuable for reporting purposes.

Data Sources

The Young Adult Survey, Fairfield County ADAMH Board & Fairfield County Family, Adult & Children First Council. The 2012, 2013 and 2014 surveys were completed by the Young Adult Prevention Initiative (YAPI) Coalition as part of the Ohio Strategic Prevention Framework – State Incentive Grant (SPF-SIG). The Fairfield County ADAMH Board analyzed the data for each survey.


A Young Adult Survey focusing on prescription drug abuse was conducted in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The 2012 and 2013 surveys were completed by persons 18 to 25 years old in Lancaster, Pickerington and at Ohio University-Lancaster/Pickerington. The 2014 survey included only Lancaster and OU-L/P.