Every 2 years, the Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario, a division of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, sponsors the Ontario Student Drug Use Survey. The results of the surveys conducted in 1995 and 1997 are presented here and compared with results from the early 1990s.
Questionnaires were completed by 3870 and 3990 Ontario public school students enrolled in grades 7, 9, 11 and 13 in 1995 and 1997 respectively. The outcome measures were prevalence of use of 20 types of drugs and other substances, including alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs, over the previous 12 months.
For several drugs the prevalence of use in the previous 12 months had increased from 1993 to 1995, but from 1995 to 1997 there was a significant increase for only one type (hallucinogens such as mescaline and psilocybin). The inhalation of glue declined, and the use of the other 18 types of drugs remained stable.
Recent data suggest that increases in adolescent student drug use reported earlier this decade have not continued. However, the stability in rates of drug use is not a justification for complacency in this important area of public health.
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