The Journal of Primary Prevention

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 237–249 | Cite as

Sex and Grade Level Differences in Lifetime Nonmedical Prescription Drug Use Among Youth

  • Keith A. King
  • Rebecca A. Vidourek
  • Ashley L. Merianos
Original Paper


Nonmedical prescription drug (NMPD) use is a significant health issue among youth. The purpose of this study was to examine NMPD use among students in 7th through 12th grades. A total of 54,631 students participated in the study, which utilized the PRIDE Questionnaire. A total of 13.6 % of youth reported lifetime NMPD use. Hispanic youth were more likely than white or African American youth to report use of NMPDs. Engaging in high levels of pro-social behaviors and having high levels of parent and teacher/school protective factors decreased the odds of use among males, females, 7th and 8th grade students and 9th through 12th grade students. Conversely, engaging in risky behaviors and having friends who used other substances increased the odds for use. Study findings highlight the increasing problem of prescription drug use. Prevention professionals may benefit from findings that can be used to tailor educational initiatives to students.


Nonmedical prescription drugs NMPD Pro-social behavior Risky behaviors Parent Peer Teacher/school 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith A. King
    • 1
  • Rebecca A. Vidourek
    • 1
  • Ashley L. Merianos
    • 1
  1. 1. Health Promotion and Education ProgramUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

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