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OSDUHS 2007 Media Backgrounder

History

  • CAMH's Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS) is the longest ongoing school survey in Canada.
  • This study was formerly known as the Ontario Student Drug Use Survey (OSDUS). The name was changed to better reflect the nature and scope of the study.
  • From 1968 to 1974, the survey monitored the extent of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use among Toronto students in grades 7, 9, 11 and 13.
  • In 1977, the study was expanded to include students throughout Ontario.
  • Since 1977, the study has surveyed about 4,000 students every two years, and to date has interviewed over 71,000 students.
  • OSDUHS is the longest systematic study of alcohol and drug use among a youthful population in Canada, and the second-longest in North America.

Purpose

  • Contribute to an understanding of current and changing patterns of alcohol and other drug use, the problems stemming from use, and the associated social and demographic factors.
  • Provide data regarding:
    • Extent of drug use by students in grades 7 to 12, and trends in use since 1977
    • Extent and nature of alcohol-related and drug-related problems
    • Attitudes, beliefs and perception about alcohol and other drug use
  • Provide a knowledge-base for designing prevention and health promotion programs, informing public health policy and disseminating information to the general public.

Methodology

  • The study is based on 16 surveys conducted every two years since 1977.
  • The 2007 survey is the 16th cycle of the study, marking the 30th anniversary of OSDUHS.
  • This latest report describes alcohol and other drug use in 2007, and changes since 1977.
  • New topics in the 2007 OSDUHS questionnaire include: non-medical use of opioid pain relievers, stimulates, over the counter sleeping medication and attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder drugs, and use of Jimson weed.
  • In 2007, 6,323 students in grades 7 to 12, enrolled in the public or Catholic regular school systems, participated in OSDUHS.
  • This represents students from 43 school boards, 119 schools and 385 classes
  • Results are provided for two groups of students; those in grades 7 to 12, and those in grades 7, 9, and 11 only.
  • The first group (grades 7 to 12) is used to assess current drug use and short-term trends (1999-2005).
  • The second group (grades 7, 9 and 11) is used to assess long-term trends (1997-2007).
  • All data are based on self-reports derived from anonymous questionnaires administered in classrooms.
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