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Am J Public Health. 1997 May;87(5):760-4.

Alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use among rural/small town and urban youth: a secondary analysis of the monitoring the future data set.

Author information

1
Center for Rural Health & Social Service Development, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale 62901, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study compared prevalence of substance use among high school seniors in rural and urban areas from 1976 through 1992.

METHODS:

We used data collected for these years from urban (n = 75,916) and rural (n = 51,182) high school seniors. Thirty-day prevalence for alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, and inhalant use, binge drinking, smoking a pack or more of cigarettes a day, and daily alcohol and marijuana use were evaluated.

RESULTS:

Substance use declined from 1976 through 1992. In 1976, urban students had greater prevalence for most substances, but by 1992, rural and urban students were similar, with rural students having higher prevalence for alcohol and cigarette use (particularly excessive use). Trends were similar for both sexes, though rural girls showed a later catch-up to use levels of urban girls.

CONCLUSIONS:

Rural students are currently at risk approximately equal to that of urban students. Other studies have demonstrated the association of substance use with increased morbidity and mortality. Policy alterations and health education programs should address this pattern in the nation's rural areas.

PMID:
9184502
PMCID:
PMC1381046
DOI:
10.2105/ajph.87.5.760
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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