Prescription Drugs in Plymouth

Plymouth Public Schools surveyed 2,801 students from four schools about prescription drugs and heroin. This report examines the results.

Two middle schools and two high schools were surveyed. The middle schools were Plymouth South Middle School (7th to 8th grade) and Plymouth Community Intermediate School (7th to 8th grade). The high schools were Plymouth North High School (9th to 12th grade) and Plymouth South High School (9th to 12th grade). This report compares and summarizes the responses between the four schools. 

How often do teens use prescription drugs without a doctor's prescriptions?

"Have you ever used prescription drugs not prescribed to you during the past 30 days?"

Very few students at both the middle school and high school level reported using prescription drugs not prescribed to them in the past 30 days.

"Have you ever used the following substance without a doctor's prescription during the past 30 days?"


Heroin is a very addictive drug made from morphine, a psychoactive (mind-altering) substance taken from the resin of the seed pod of the opium poppy plant. It is part of a class of drugs called opioids.

Prescription Pain Relievers

Prescription pain relievers (opioids) are medications that are chemically similar to endorphins – opioids that our body makes naturally to relieve pain – and also similar to the illegal drug heroin. These include Vicodin, OxyContin, and Tylox.

Prescription Stimulants

Prescription stimulants increase—or "stimulate"—activities and processes in the body. This increased activity can boost alertness, attention, and energy. These include Ritalin, and Adderall.

Prescription Tranquilizers

Depressants, sometimes referred to as central nervous system (CNS) depressants or tranquilizers, slow down (or “depress”) the normal activity that goes on in the brain and spinal cord. These include Xanax, Valium, and Ambien.

What do teens' families think about prescription drug abuse?

"Does your family have clear rules about drug or alcohol use?"

Out of the surveyed students who answered this question, 13.3% said their family did not have clear rules about drug or alcohol use.

"Has anyone in your family ever had a severe alcohol or drug problem?"

Out of all surveyed students who answered the question, 36.3% of students has had someone in their family had a severe alcohol or drug problem.

"How wrong would the following people feel it would be for you to use prescription drugs not prescribed to you?"

Compared to parents of high school students, there are 3.9% more middle school parents who feel it is not wrong for students to use prescription drugs not prescribed to them. 

More Information

Data was provided by the Plymouth Youth Development Collaborative (PYDC). Not at all students surveyed answered every question. 

PYDC was founded in 2004 as a sub-committee of the Community Health Network Area. The PYDC is a community coalition motivated around enhancing the lives of youth in our community.

The mission of PYDC is to strategically prevent and reduce substance abuse and misuse, to increase the protective factors that support a healthy community, and to enhance community collaboration in Plymouth.