Overview of Alcohol and Drug Issues in the Young Adult Population
In 2008, at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg Campus, 68.4% of youth participants reported past 30-day alcohol use and 14.8% of student participants reported past 30-day marijuana use. 12.6% of student participants reported using a prescription drug in the past 12 months.
In the Spring semester of 2008, LiveFree! interns conducted a study at the University of Tampa, which many students commute to from Pinellas County. 300 students were surveyed (54% male) regarding alcohol and other drug use. 71% of the students reported they drank more now in college then they did in high school. Students were questioned about whom they first started drinking with, and 64.5% reported friends, followed by 15% who reported parents.
In 2010, the Uniform Crime Report indicated there were 8,525 drug and narcotic arrests in Pinellas County. According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, there were 2,187 young adults (ages 18-25) with alcohol, drug and narcotic arrests. These arrests do not include other law enforcement agencies in Pinellas County.
In Pinellas County in 2010, among the 18-25 year old population, alcohol was detected by the Medical Examiner in 26 young adults. Cocaine was detected in 14 young adults. Alprazolam was detected in 28 young adults. Oxycodone was detected in 35 young adults. Methadone was detected in 18 young adults (2010, District 6 Medical Examiner).
In Pinellas County in 2010, among the 26-29 year old population, alcohol was detected in 13 young adults. Cocaine was detected in 5 young adults. Alprazolam was detected in 15 young adults. Oxycodone was detected in 23 young adults. Methadone was detected in 8 young adults (2010, District 6 Medical Examiner).
In 2008 in Pinellas County, 33 young adults aged 18-20 were admitted to Emergency Rooms for an Alcohol-Related incident, 91 young adults aged 21-24 were admitted to Emergency Rooms for an Alcohol-Related incident and 101 young adults aged 25-29 were admitted to Emergency Rooms for an Alcohol-Related incident (Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration).
In the 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 fiscal years, in Circuits 6 (Pinellas and Pasco Counties), 12 (DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties) and 13 (Hillsborough County), 330 young adults ages 18-24 were waitlisted for substance abuse treatment services (Central Florida Behavioral Health Network).
Note: It is difficult to capture prevalence data on young adults not attending college, as there is no easy access to a larger out of school group. LiveFree! plans to work with community agencies to identify avenues for collecting more information on this age group.