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.



In the Spring of 2015, postcards were mailed home to OMS and OHS parents with positive messaging and statistics specific to their schools on the back.

Things Kids Try Postcard

Click here to download OMS Postcard.


House Rules Postcard

Click here to download OHS Postcard.


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