Ottawa Drug and Alcohol FACTS?

What drugs are youth in Ottawa using?

Alcohol is the number one drug used by our youth.  Our local data indicates the following- when surveyed, here’s what USD 290 students reported:

  • Over one-third, 37%, of OHS seniors reported drinking alcohol at least once in the past 30 days and 39% of sophomores reported the same.
  • Twenty-six percent of seniors also reported binge drinking (had 5+ drinks in a row at least once in the last two weeks).

Why are youth in Ottawa drinking alcohol?

  • Students report a low perception of risk, harm or consequences-84% of seniors and 81% of sophomores stated they would not be caught by police if they drank alcohol.
  • Youth report easy social access to alcohol- 76% of Seniors stated it would be “easy” to get alcohol if they wanted it.
  • Data shows easy retail access to alcohol- 10% of the 12th graders, who reported drinking in the last 30 days, stated they drank in a bar

Where and how do youth in Ottawa get alcohol?

  • Of those students who reported drinking in the past 30 days, the majority (74%) stated that they drank at a friend’s home.
  • Of those OHS seniors who reported drinking in the past 30 days, 30% said a person over 21 either gave it to them or bought it for them.
  • Another 10% of the 12th graders, who reported drinking in the last 30 days, stated they drank in a bar.

What are the laws around underage drinking?

Underage drinkers face legal consequences like fines, suspension of driver’s license, community service and even time in jail. Adults who furnish alcohol to minors or host parties also face serious repercussions.

Teens who use marijuana face penalties of up to $2,500 and a year in prison, for a first offense. Second offense, selling and growing pot are all felonies with severe penalties.

Follow the law. It Matters.

Kansas Laws
For Alcohol, click here.
For Marijuana, click here.


How is the Ottawa Community Advisory Group working to prevent underage drinking and drug use?

In 2014, the group received a grant from the Regional Prevention Center/DCCCA to reduce underage drinking in Ottawa.  Through this grant, the following has occurred:

  • Enhanced law enforcement efforts (party patrols) occurred during Prom and Graduation.  These were conducted by the Franklin County Sherriff’s Office and the Ottawa Police Department and worked to enforce the underage drinking laws and social hosting laws at a time known for underage drinking.
  • The Alcoholic Beverage Control collaborated with the Regional Prevention Center and the Ottawa Police Department to provide training to all alcohol licensees in Ottawa.  This training reviewed all the laws around selling and serving alcohol, how to detect a fake id, as well as discussions around being a responsible business partner by not selling alcohol to minors
  • The MADD’s Power of Parents Program was presented to OMS parents at an informational night.
  • In the Spring of 2015, postcards and bookmarks were mailed home to OMS and OHS parents with positive messaging and statistics specific to their schools on the back.
    Click here to download 2015 OMS Postcard.   |   Click here to download 2015 OHS Postcard.
    Click here to download 2015 OMS Bookmark.   |   Click here to download 2015 OHS Bookmark.
  • In the Spring of 2015, the Ottawa Herald ran the following ads:
    Click here to download the 2015 Holiday Ad.   |   Click here to download the 2015 Prom Ad.  |   Click here to download the 2015 Graduation Ad.
  • In an effort to discourage underage drinking on OHS prom night a “Consequences of Drinking Underage” prom card was handed out with all corsage/boutonnieres and tuxedos.
    Click here to download 2015 Prom Card.
  • Before Prom and Graduation, the OHS principal, Franklin County Sheriff, Ottawa Police Chief and Franklin County Attorney co-signed a letter to parents reminding them of the laws concerning alcohol and youth and encouraging them to celebrate responsibly.
    Click here to download letter.

    This website was developed under a grant  from the Office of Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services-Behavioral Health Services.