Alcohol remains the number one drug of choice among both adolescents and adults and is the most widely available drug. Marijuana is the most commonly used and abused illicit drug in the U.S., particularly among adolescents and young adults. Prescription drugs are the third most misused and abused substance with youth, behind alcohol and marijuana. When prescription drugs become hard to find or too costly, it often leads to heroin which is cheaper and often readily available in a community. The use of heroin, while affecting a smaller percentage of local youth, is of serious concern because it represents a pattern of drug use that extends to more dangerous and addictive drugs including heroin. Lifetime misuse is just one indicator of how many persons in our community may already be at an increased risk of addiction.
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. Lifetime use of all of these substances was based on the question, "At what age did you first try the following substances?" and the answer choice of "Never."