The PreventionFIRST! (PF!) Student Survey

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 The PreventionFIRST! (PF!) Student Survey is a youth survey administered every other year to 7th-12th grade students in Southwest Ohio. Results below are from Hamilton, Butler, Clermont, and Warren counties. The PreventionFIRST! 2021-2022 Student Survey results revealed decreases in the number of students who reported using Alcohol, Cigarettes, Marijuana, Prescription Drugs not prescribed to them, and Electronic Vapor Products in the past 30 days. Past 30-Day Use of Alcohol decreased from 13% in 2020 to 11.4% in 2022. In the same years, past 30-day use of Cigarettes decreased from 3.3% to 2.5%; Marijuana decreased from 9.9% to 7.1%; Prescription Drugs decreased from 2.3% to 2%; and Electronic- Vapor products decreased from 13.7% to 11.2%.

The following graph depicts trends in Past 30-Day Use from 2012- 2022.  

Decreases in perceived availability were also reported from 2020 to 2022. Students were also asked “How easy is it to get…” and provided a list of substances. The following chart shows the combined percentages of those students who responded, “fairly easy” and “very easy” in 2020 and 2022.

The COVID-19 Pandemic provided less opportunity for 7th-12th graders to connect with friends and engage in activities that include substance use. Students were likely spending more time with parents and under supervision, which likely led to the decreases in perception of availability and past 30-day use. As we return to more socializing and activities it is imperative that we engage in prevention to try and maintain these successes in youth substance misuse.