Y002 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

Fairfield County biennial Youth Behavior Surveys, 2004–2014, Fairfield County Family, Adult & Children First Council & Fairfield County ADAMH Board. From 2004 – 2010, Fairfield County ADAMH Board analyzed the survey data. The survey analysis in 2012 & 2014 was conducted by the Ohio University Voinovich Center in partnership with the Fairfield County Family, Adult and Children First Council and Prevention Works for a Drug Free Fairfield County.


The Fairfield County Youth Behavior Survey has been conducted every two years since 2004.  Students in grades 10 and 12 participated each time.  The results of the surveys provide a benchmark for alcohol, tobacco and other drug use as well as an indication of negative and problematic behavior among our youth.  These behaviors are self-reported.