Tri-Ethnic Center

College of Natural Sciences

Do Drug Use Rates Differ Between Oklahoma and Non-Oklahoma Indian Youth?


Data from approximately 2000 non-Oklahoma American Indian 7th -12th graders and 2000 Oklahoma American Indian 7th 12th graders were examined to answer this question and to compare predictors of drug use, such as perceived availability.

Oklahoma Indian 7th-12th graders had significantly lower drug use rates than those of Non-Oklahoma Indian 7th -12th graders. For example, while 20% of 7th 9th grade non-Oklahoma AI youth reported getting drunk in the last month, only 10% of Oklahoma 7th- 9th graders said they had been drunk in the last month. Likewise, 40% of non-Oklahoma 7th -9th graders had used marijuana in the last month compared to 13% for Oklahoma youth in the same age group. In addition, Oklahoma youth show later ages of initiation for marijuana and inhalants (see Figure below) and greater perceptions of harm from using drugs.  

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Tragesser, S.L., Beauvais, F., Burnside, M., & Jumper-Thurman, P. (2010)   Differences in illicit drug-use rates among Oklahoma and non-Oklahoma Indian youth. Substance Use and Misuse, 45(13) 2323-39. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20482336