Survey: Painkiller, heroin use down among Ohio students; many te - - Jackson, MS

Survey: Painkiller, heroin use down among Ohio students; many texting while driving

COLUMBUS, OH (Toledo News Now) -

A survey of Ohio high school students on a variety of subjects showed a decline in both painkiller and heroin use.

The Ohio Department of Health says its 2013 Ohio Youth Risk Behavior Survey showed a significant decrease in the percentage of students using both drugs from just two years ago. In 2011, 21.3 percent of students reported using prescription pain relievers or painkillers without a doctor's prescription one or more times during their life; in 2013 that dropped to 12.8 percent.

When it comes to heroin use, 3.1 percent of students said they had used heroin in the 2011 survey. In 2013, that number dropped to 2 percent.

The number of students who said they had used marijuana at least once in their lifetime dropped from 42.8 percent in 2011 to 35.7 percent in 2013. The number who had used marijuana in the past 30 days dropped from 23.6 percent to 20.7 percent.

The number of students admitting they had used cocaine, including powder, crack, or freebase one or more times during their life dropped from 7 percent in 2011 to 3.8 percent in 2013.

The study found 30 percent of students admitted to drinking alcohol, while 15 percent said they used tobacco.

The Department Health added a new question to the survey for 2013. The department says 46 percent of students admitted to texting or emailing while driving a car.

Outside of distracted driving, the study shows the vast majority of students are driving safely.  Seatbelt use while riding in a car has increased to 92 percent and driving with someone who has been drinking has decreased to 17 percent. 

The survey also asked about diet and exercise habits.  Only 19.3 percent of students report eating fruits and vegetables five or more times per day, while 27 percent report eating fast food three or more times per week. Only 26 percent get the recommended 60 minutes daily physical activity and 29 percent of students report a height and weight that classify them as overweight or obese.

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