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The changing patterns of drug use among American Indian students over the past 30 years.

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Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.


Drug use among American Indian (AI) youth continues at higher levels than those found among other youth. While the rates are higher, the patterns of increases and decreases over the past 30-year period have been similar, indicating that AI youth are part of the larger adolescent culture. There is a set of secular influences that affect the rates of drug use in both groups in the same manner. The major implication of these findings is that effective interventions in non-AI groups may also be effective among AI adolescents. Intervention activities, however, must be adapted to be culturally congruent. Despite rising concern over methamphetamine use on reservations, the data presented here indicate that, with the exception of two points in time, the rates have not increased substantially for AI youth who remain in school. School dropouts and young adults/adults may be more vulnerable to the abuse of methamphetamines and the rates of use may be higher in these groups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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