State health survey finds teen drug abuse down

Last updated: March 08. 2014 3:15PM - 2053 Views
By Melanie Yingst

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Melanie Yingst


MIAMI COUNTY - The state of Ohio’s Health Department released information last week stating the abuse of prescription painkillers and using heroin are down, according to the state Health Department’s most recent youth risk survey.

Yet, three female Troy Junior High School students who were under the influence of an unidentified drug during school on Feb. 26 are facing drug charges in juvenile court.

According to Troy Police Department’s Capt. Joe Long, the three juveniles, two 13 years old females and a 12-year old female, are facing possession of drugs charges stemming from the incident.

Long said the girls ingested an unidentified prescription pill, possibly suboxone, a powerful painkiller, and were found sick at Troy Junior High School Feb. 26. All three were treated at Upper Valley Medical Center and released.

Interviews with the teens and their parents have led investigators to believe one of the teens stole the pills from her home. The pills are believed to be a relative’s.

Blood tests from the juveniles to determine the exact substance are still pending, Long said.

About 13 percent of students reported using prescription painkillers at least once last year, down from about 21 percent in 2011, according to the Ohio Department of Health’s 2013 Ohio Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

The survey also found that the number of teens reporting they used heroin had decreased from 3.1 percent to 2 percent.

About one in five teens reported that they had recently used marijuana, a figure unchanged for the past 20 years. Fifteen percent of teens said they had smoked cigarettes on one or more days in the past month, down considerably from past years but unchanged since 2011, the study found.


The Miami County Sheriff’s Office has a drug drop off box located in its lobby of its downtown office in the county’s safety building on West Main Street in Troy.

The drug drop box will allow anyone to drop off unused prescription drugs at the sheriff’s office during normal business hours. There is no paperwork to complete and you do not need speak with any officials. Simply drop the old or unused prescription pills in the box. The pills are destroyed in a manner that does not cause environmental harm to rivers, streams, and water table. Any items dropped off should be in pill or patch form only, no liquids or needles will be accepted.

According to the sheriff’s website, “By ridding one’s household of used or unwanted medications it also reduces the likelihood of young people having access to abuse them.”

The Miami County Sheriff’s Offce will also continue to partner with the Miami County Transfer Station and will host four drug-drop off dates a year. The next drug-drop off will be held on April 26.


In less welcome news, the survey also found that nearly one out of every two Ohio teens has texted or emailed while driving a car, and not enough teens are eating the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables and getting enough daily exercise.

The study found that 46 percent of teens reported texting or emailing while driving, a new question asked in 2013. But the number of teens saying they never or rarely used seatbelts fell below 10 percent, and fewer than one in five teens had ridden with someone who had been drinking.

Most teens reported feeling safe at school, though one in five were bullied on school property in 2013 and 15 percent said they’d been bullied online.

Fewer than 20 percent of students reported eating fruits and vegetables five or more times a day, while a quarter said they eat fast food three or more times a week.

Only one in four students got an hour of physical activity a day and one in three were overweight or obese.

For the complete survey, visit http://www.odh.ohio.gov

Melanie Yingst can be reached at (937) 440-5254 or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews

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