Drug Abuse Down Among Indiana High School Students

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Indiana Drug Abuse Down Among Indiana High School Students

According to the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance study from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, drug abuse among high school students in 2015 was reported at 16.8% – down from 21.4% four years ago. Currently, Indiana is ranked #8 in the U.S., tied with Idaho. In 2011, they were ranked #2.

Drug Abuse

To break it down, around 35% of students said they had tried marijuana, and 16% said they were currently using marijuana. About 10% had tried synthetic marijuana, such as K2 or Spice.

Only 4% had used cocaine, and 5% had used ecstasy. About 2.5% used heroin, and nearly 3% had used methamphetamines. More than 7% used inhalants. Two percent had injected an illegal drug.

Just over 3% took steroids without a prescription, and 16% reported have taken a prescribed drug without a doctor’s prescription. The second figure likely reflects use of opioids, such as oxycodone, and benzodiazepines, such as xanax.

Another survey, the Indiana Youth Survey, reported the following:


Rates of marijuana ranged from under 10% of 9th grade studies to nearly 19% of 12th grade students, with an overall average of about 15%.

Prescription Drugs (Illicitly Obtained)

Prescription drugs include various painkillers, sedatives, and stimulants. Rates of past month use of prescription drugs ranged from 1.4% among 7th grade students to a high of 6.0% of 12th grade students.

Of those who used prescription drugs to get high, most (4.6%) in the 12th grade obtained them from somewhere else besides a parents or physician. Another 4.3% said they bought them.

Over-The-Counter Drugs

Rates of past month use of OTC drugs to get high ranged from 2.4% of 7th grade students to 3.3% of 10th and 11th grade students. These drugs largely consist of cough syrup containing DXM, such as Robitussin.

Alcohol Use

According to the Risk Youth Behavior Surveillance, over 62% of Indiana students reported even having drank alcohol. 15% said they did so before age 13.

According to the Indiana Youth Survey, in 2015, past month alcohol use ranged from 17.7% of 9th grade students to 37.4% of 12th grade students. for an overall average of around 27%.

Binge drinking rates (5 or more drinks per session) ranged from 7.3% of 9th grade student to 16.7% of 12th grade students, with an overall average of about 12%.

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology

Primary Sources:


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