PIRE Publication - Demographic and contextual factors associated with inhalant use among youth in rural Alaska


Background: Abuse of harmful legal products that can be inhaled or ingested is a serious and growing problem in many rural Alaskan communities, and particularly so among preteens. Methods: This study analyses data collected during baseline measurements of a 5-year NIH/NIDA-funded study entitled A Community Trial to Prevent Youth's Abuse of Harmful Legal Products in Alaska. Youth in 8 communities located throughout the state participated in a survey during the fall of 2009 to measure the prevalence and availability of harmful legal products (n=697). The goal of the analysis presented here is to compare the contextual factors of inhalant users and non-users in rural Alaskan communities. Results: As reported in national surveys of substance use among youth, participants in this study indicated using alcohol more than any other substance. Inhalants were the second-most common substance abused, higher than either cigarettes or marijuana. Lifetime use varied among demographic factors such as age, gender and ethnicity as well as contextual factors including academic performance, parent employment, household living situation and income. When compared to non-users, significantly larger proportions of participants reporting lifetime inhalant use indicated easy availability of inhalants in their home, school and retail outlets. Users were also significantly more likely than non-users to have consumed alcohol. Conclusion: Results of this study may inform the development of effective interventions in other rural communities.;

Driscoll, David L.
Dotterrer, Bruce
Collins, David
Ogilvie, Kristen
Grube, Joel
Johnson, Knowlton