Substance Use is Widespread Among Native American, White and Mixed-Race Youth
A new study finds widespread substance abuse among Native American, mixed-race and white teenagers. The study of more than 27,000 adolescents found 31.5 percent of Native American teens had substance-related disorders, followed by adolescents of multiple race or ethnicity (25 percent), whites (23 percent) and Hispanics (21 percent).
In contrast, only 5 percent of African American teenagers abused or were dependent on drugs or alcohol, the study found. For Asian or Pacific Islander teenagers, the rate was 3.5 percent.
This is the first study of substance abuse in teenagers that recognizes youths of mixed race or ethnicity, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Teens of mixed race or ethnicity were more likely than any other group to show signs of substance use disorders for both drugs and alcohol. Mixed-race teens were also more likely than their white counterparts to have used opioids, marijuana, inhalants, cocaine or hallucinogens in the previous year.
Overall, marijuana was the most commonly abused substance among teens, followed by opioids.
The findings are published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.