The Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS) is a population survey of Ontario students in grades 7 through 12. The OSDUHS began in 1977 and is the longest ongoing school survey in Canada, and one of the longest in the world. This self-administered, anonymous survey is conducted across the province every two years with the purpose of identifying epidemiological trends in student drug use, mental health, physical activity, and risk behaviour, as well as identifying risk and protective factors. Typically, the OSDUHS surveys thousands of students in over 150 elementary and secondary schools across Ontario.
This survey is important because it provides current and reliable information about the health risk behaviours, attitudes and beliefs of Ontario adolescents, and tracks changes over time. Findings from the OSDUHS have been widely used by health, education, and government officials in setting health priorities and facilitating preventative policies, programs and services that address youths' needs.
The OSDUHS began as a drug use survey, but is now a broader study of adolescent health and well-being. Topics covered include tobacco, alcohol and other drug use and harmful consequences of use, mental health indicators, physical health indicators, health care utilization, body image, gambling and video gaming behaviours and problems, violence and bullying, criminal behaviours, school connectedness, and family life.
The 2013 cycle of the OSDUHS has begun in schools across the province and will run until May 2013. We hope to survey just over 11,000 students in grades 7 through 12. New topics in the 2013 survey include waterpipe ("hookah") use, synthetic cannabis use, helmet use while bicycling, and tanning bed use.
To learn more about the OSDUHS, please see our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)