Protocol - Substances - Age of First Use
Measurement to ascertain the respondent’s age of initiation of first use of substances.
The Working Group acknowledges that the following question may gather sensitive information relating to the use of substances or illegal conduct. If the information is released it might be damaging to an individual’s employability, lead to social stigmatization, or result in other consequences.
For information on obtaining a Certificate of Confidentiality, which helps researchers protect the privacy of human research participants, please go to the National Human Genome Research Institute’s Institutional Review Board website.
If respondents answered "Yes" to any of the drug categories asked in the Substances - Lifetime Use measure, they are then asked this question. Investigators should refer back to the substance(s) indicated in the Substances - Lifetime Use measure when asking the below question. The drug categories are provided below:
- Sedatives or tranquilizers
- Cocaine or crack
- Club drugs
- Inhalants or solvents
Respondents can refer to the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III (NESARC-III) flashcard that provides examples of each.
TYPES OF MEDICINES/DRUGS
1 Sedatives or tranquilizers, for example…barbs, downers, Ambien, Lunesta, phenobarbital, pentobarbital, Halcion, Tuinal, Nembutal, Seconal, Librium, Valium, Xanax, benzodiazepines, tranks, Ativan
2 Painkillers, for example…methadone, codeine, Demerol, Vicodin, OxyContin, opium, oxy, Percocet, Dilaudid, Percodan, morphine
3 Marijuana, including THC, for example…weed, pot, dope, hashish, Mary Jane, joint, blunt
4 Cocaine or crack, for example…blow, rock, snow
5 Stimulants, for example…Adderall, Concerta, Cylert, Provigil, Ritalin or Dexedrine, speed, amphetamine, methamphetamine, uppers, bennies, pep pills, crystal, crank
6 Club drugs, for example…MDMA, ecstasy, GHB, Rohypnol, ketamine, Special K, XTC, roofies
7 Hallucinogens, for example…LSD, acid, PCP, mescaline, peyote, psilocybin, mushrooms, angel dust, cactus
8 Inhalants or solvents, for example…nitrous oxide, lighter fluid, gasoline, cleaning fluid, glue, poppers, whippets
9 Heroin, for example…smack, black tar, poppy
10 Any OTHER medicines
- How old were you the first time you used…?
AGE: ________ [RANGE: 1-110]
[ ] DK/REF
Personnel and Training Required
Interviewer must be trained and found competent to conduct personal interviews with individuals from the general population. The interviewer should be trained to prompt respondents further if a "don’t know" response is provided.
While the source instrument was developed for administration by computer, the PhenX Expert Review Panel acknowledges that these questions can be administered in a noncomputerized format.
|Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection||No|
|Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual||No|
Mode of Administration
18 years of age or older
The protocol from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) was chosen because it is a large, nationally representative study. The measures from this survey have been validated and psychometrically tested.
English, Other languages available at source
|caDSR Common Data Elements (CDE)||Person Substance of Abuse Begin Age||2821061||CDE Browser|
Process and Review
The Expert Review Panel #3 (ERP 3) reviewed the measures in Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Substances, and Substance Abuse and Addiction domains.
Guidance from ERP 3 includes:
• Updated protocol
• New Data Dictionary
Back-compatible: Not back-compatible (vastly different than previous protocol which would require a new data dictionary) and not recommended for use (discredited or no longer considered broadly validated)
Previous version in Toolkit archive (link)
Protocol Name from Source
National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 2015
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015, February). National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 2015. Rockville, MD: Author. CAI Specifications for Programming, English Version.
|Variable Name||Variable ID||Variable Description||dbGaP Mapping|
|PX031202010100||How old were you the first time you used...?||Variable Mapping|
|PX031202010200||How old were you the first time you used...?||N/A|
Substances - Age of First Use
November 21, 2016
Question asking the respondent how old he or she was when he or she first use the substance.
This measure assesses when the participant’s substance use began.
substances - age of first use, Drugs, substance use, illicit substances, cannabis, marijuana, THC, LSD, acid, angel dust, phencyclidine, PCP, peyote, mescaline, psilocybin, ecstasy, MDMA, sedative, tranquilizer, pain relievers, stimulant, prescription drugs, cocaine, crack cocaine, hallucinogen, inhalant, solvent, heroin, methamphetamine, substance abuse, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, NSDUH, gerontology, aging, geriatrics
|Protocol ID||Protocol Name|
|31201||Substances - Age of First Use|
|31202||Substances - Age of First Use|
There are no publications listed for this protocol.