Prescription Drugs

In April 2018, 1,084 Naugatuck youth participated in a survey conducted by the Search Institute. Respondents were asked if they used, without a prescription, in the past 30 days: 

About 2% of high school student respondents have taken a pain reliever without a prescription in the past 30 days. 

Smaller, but still significant, numbers of respondents said they had taken other prescription medications—stimulants and tranquilizers—without a prescription. 

All survey data in this report is from responses to the Search Institute’s “Profiles of Student Life: Attitudes & Behaviors.” The survey focuses on the lives of young people and their attitudes and behaviors towards substances and mental health. The results are important to Naugatuck Youth Services, Step Up Naugy, educators, town officials, key stakeholders, parents and others because they indicate areas for the community to focus on in order to support young people in staying safe and healthy.

Roughly 10% of youth think it's OK to take someone else's prescription drugs for pain management.

Of 937 respondents, 68 (7%) said they "agree" that it would be okay, and 30 (3%) said they "strongly agree." Slightly smaller percentages of youths expressed positive sentiments about taking other people's prescription medicine for coping with anxiety/stress or to do better in school.

22% of youth said it would be "very" or "sort of" easy to get prescription drugs not prescribed to them.

Of 925 respondents, 109 (12%) young people said it would be "sort of easy" to get prescription drugs not prescribed to them; 94 youths (10%) said it would be "very easy" to do so. 

A smaller percentage—10%— said they would have a "sort of" or very" easy time getting other illicit drugs.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows heightened risks for Connecticut children and young adults.

Based on data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Connecticut's rate of pain reliever misuse is roughly the same as the nation's. The age breakdown in the survey show that young adults are the most at-risk population.

Misuse is defined as use in any way not directed by a doctor, including use without a prescription of one's own; use in greater amounts, more often, or longer than told; or use in any other way not directed by a doctor.

The survey also asks participants their views on the risks of trying heroin. Again, Connecticut's data is not significantly different from the nation as a whole, but clear differences emerge between different age groups. Children in particular show much less awareness of the risks of trying heroin. Only about 66% of Connecticut children aged 12 to 17 perceived trying heroin once or twice as a "great risk."

Perceptions of Great Risk from Trying Heroin Once or Twice: by Age (2016-2017)

Prescription Drug Safety

• Keep prescription and over-the-counter medicine in a safe place, such as a locked cabinet or box. Keep your family safe from accidental drug ingestion.

• All expired, unused or unwanted medications must be disposed of safely; use the drop box located at the Naugatuck Police Department for safe disposal.

• Kids who learn the dangers of drug use early and often from their parents are much less likely to develop an addiction. Taking ANY prescription medication that is not prescribed to them by a doctor is drug abuse and it is dangerous.

A prescription drop-box.