268691 Sex Differences in Over-the-Counter Drug Use among Youth

Monday, October 29, 2012

Rebecca A. Vidourek, PhD, CHES , Health Promotion & Education Program, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Ashley Merianos, MS, CHES , Health Promotion & Education Program, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Keith A. King, PhD, MCHES , Department of Health Promotion & Education, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Over-the-counter (OTC) drug use presents a significant public health concern to US adolescents. An estimated 1 in 10 youth report using OTC drugs to intentionally get high. Negative outcomes associated with OTC use include unintentional poisoning, seizures, psychological addictions, physical addictions, criminal involvement, lowered educational attainment, unsafe sexual practices, and relationship difficulties. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to examine OTC drug use among 7th through 12th grade students from 133 schools in one greater metropolitan area. A primary aim of this study was to identify sex differences of OTC drug use among students. The PRIDE Questionnaire which assesses students' involvement in substance use was distributed to 54,361 students in their classrooms. Results indicated that 10% of youth reported using OTC drugs within their lifetime. Regarding sex differences, male youth were at increased odds of reporting lifetime use of OTC drugs than female youth. Findings from this study highlight and underscore OTC drugs as an increasing significant health issue among youth. Health professionals and prevention specialists may benefit from the present study's findings which can be used to tailor prevention programs to students.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the importance of educating youth about the negative consequences associated with over-the-counter drug use.

Keywords: Drug Use, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a nationally recognized expert in the area of youth substance abuse. In addition, I am an American Association for Health Education Horizon Award recipient and have published more than 25 articles concerning health behaviors in peer-reviewed journals. I have delivered over 65 professional presentations at various conferences.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 3297.0: Substance Abuse