Columbiana County has had a drop in youth alcohol consumption over the past few years, but there’s been an increase in another type of drug use among middle and high schoolers.

Family Recovery Center’s Alcohol Drug Abuse Prevention Team (ADAPT) is finally starting to see progress when it comes to underage drinking in the county. The process started about eight years ago.

“The last several years, we’ve been fortunate to get a drug-free community’s grant and we are now in year eight. We can have it for ten years,” said Brenda Foor, with ADAPT.

The grant appointed by the White House allows ADAPT to put programs in schools and the community.

Anonymous surveys done every two years by the county’s 7th, 9th and 10th graders show the number of kids trying or drinking alcohol has dropped by eight percent.

“We’re trying to show them these are the health ramifications. We use that ‘Parents Who Host Lose the Most’ campaign around prom and graduation season,” Foor said.

However, those surveys and ones done by parents show an increase in prescription drug use among students.

Foor said “pharming parties” are becoming more common among high schoolers.

“Pharming parties are where you come to a party and you just dump whatever you found in your parents’ or grandparents’ cabinet. You dump it into a bowl and you just take whatever. You don’t know what you’re taking.”

ADAPT has been working with the county’s drug task force to try to combat the issue.

“We’re trying to encourage people to lock their medicine up with lockboxes,” Foor said. “You can get them fairly cheap. You can even use a cash box and just lock your medicine up so that kids can’t have access to the meds.”

She said if you find any, take advantage of police departments’ prescription drug drop-off locations.