By Heather Lillico, Provincial System Support Program, CAMH
CAMH's Provincial System Support Program (PSSP) and EENet co-hosted part one of a two-part webinar series on Wednesday, June 22nd sharing findings from the 2015 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS). The OSDUHS always impresses me because it's the longest running school based survey in Canada! It began in 1977, at a time when bell bottom jeans and tie dye ruled the world.
The webinar kicked off with PSSP's very own Tamar Meyer and Jason Guriel sharing some highlights from the 2015 OSDUHS Drug Use Results Report. Then CAMH expert panelists Dr. Robert Mann, Dr. Hayley Hamilton, Gloria Chaim, and Angela Boak took turns discussing what stood out for them with the results, and how the information could be used to inform policy and programming. Here are some things that stood out for me from the webinar:
- Students reported use of prescription opioids for nonmedical use, over the counter cough/cold meds, and energy drinks declined since 2013 (great!).
- Ecstasy increased since 2013 (up 2.1%).
- The age of initiation for drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and using cannabis has increased over time (ie. students are starting later).
- Abstinence from drug use including alcohol and tobacco is currently higher than about a decade ago.
- Although tobacco smoking rates have declined, about 1 in 10 students still report smoking...that's still a big number!
- Despite a long-term decline, binge drinking remains at an elevated level, as about one-in-six students (an estimated 168,100) report drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion once in the past month.
Have a listen to the webinar and look at the slides for more information.
OSDUHS also has a fantastic interactive website with highlights from the 2015 report which I recommend checking out. PSSP also includes the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre and the Opioid Resource Hub which help support the work of EENet, check them out as well for more resources!
Part two of this webinar series will delve deeper into how to put all this fantastic research into action. Stay tuned for information on a date!