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Indiana Prevention Resource Center (IPRC)

Ask the Librarian

Many questions asked of us are considerably more complicated than the typical “ready reference” questions your public library reference librarian will get, such as: “What is the gross national income per capita of Norway?,” or “What is the State Bird of Texas?”  Members of the public call the IPRC (Indiana Prevention Resource Center) with questions that we sometimes have no answer to because the data simply don’t exist. If there isn’t a national or local survey asking about use of a particular drug, we can’t make up the answer. Even if there is a national survey, the survey might not be conducted yearly, or the data may take several years to process and publish.   Some information may be provided quickly, and others may take hours or days to produce.  We can email, fax, or mail copies of published articles from proprietary databases to interested researchers.  Here we will provide links to information on the open web.

Q:  What is the number of children in my community using drugs?

A:  Did your school corporation participate in the IPRC’s annual ATOD (Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs) survey?  Please contact your school corporation to get this answer. If yes, you will get the answer from them. If not we can provide you the state and regional prevalence rates of the various drug use by Indiana students in grades 6 – 12.  

Additional information on statistics on youth and drug use:

Indiana ATOD Survey

National Drug Use Survey

Youth Risk Behavior Survey (CDC, National)

Q:  My son said some of his friends were “Robo-tripping” – what are they talking about?

A:   Abuse of cough suppressant dextromethorphan (DXM)  (as in Robitussin®, Vicks Formula 44 and many generic cough syrups) can be called “Robo-ing,” “Tussing,” or “D-Xing.”  In high doses (or even in some cases therapeutic doses) dextromethorphan can cause hallucinations and unpleasant side-effects.  DXM in pill form (such as Coricidin®) is sometimes called “Skittles®” after the small red candies they resemble.

Additional information on dextromethorphan

Emergency Room Visits for Dextromethorphan:

Center for Substance Abuse Research, University of Maryland

National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration:

Q: What can you tell me about Salvia divinorum?

A: Salvia divinorum is a plant found in the Sierra Mazateca mountain region of Mexico where it is used as a healing and divining herb.  It is a member of the mint family and can induce hallucinations if smoked or ingested. This is not the same plant as the red and purple Salvia commonly planted in flower beds.  We cannot provide prevalence statistics on this plant as there is no ATOD survey which includes a question relating to its use, we could only provide the number of people reporting use of hallucinogens. A number of states (Delaware, Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois, Oklahoma, Maine, & Louisiana) have made Salvia divinorum a controlled substance although it is not yet a federally controlled substance.

Center for Substance Abuse Research, University of Maryland

United States Drug Enforcement Agency

National Survey of Drug Use will ask question about use of Salvia divorinum


By Carole Nowicke,   1/16/2008