The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4237.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 4:48 PM

Abstract #43770

American Indian youth's addictions issues and natural helping networks

Arlene Rubin Stiffman, PhD, Catherine Woodstock Striley, MSW, Eddie Brown, DSW, Emily Ostmann, BS, and Gordon Limb, PhD. Social Work, Washington University, Campus Box 1196, 1 Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130, 314-935-6685,

American Indian youth's access to addictions services are complicated by high need, inappropriate or inadequate services, and convoluted financing. We examine the addictions services of 403 American Indian youth, using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule, the WHO-DAS, and the Service Assessment for Children and Adolescents (SACA). 79% of the youth had addiction or mental health problems: 53% had symptoms of substance addiction, 27% met criteria for drug abuse/dependence, and 13% for alcohol abuse/dependence. Only 13% with addiction symptoms received specialist services. One out of 4 youth used some configurations with informal adults or peers; 1 in 8 with nonspecialist professionals; and 1 in 20 with specialists or traditional healers. Youth with alcohol dependence or abuse were more likely to use configurations with specialist or nonspecialist professionals. Youth with drug abuse and dependence were more likely to use configurations with informal adults (48 vs. 62%), and specialists (5 vs. 19%). Youth who used nonspecialist professionals had higher functional impairment (19 vs. 13), and more addictions symptoms (39 vs. 23). Youths who used specialists had more symptoms (33 vs. 16), but not more impairment. Youth who used traditional healers had neither more impairment nor symptoms, but those who used traditional healers or informal adults had higher ethnic identity (16 vs. 9, and 11 vs. 9). Knowing the complex natural service configurations for addiction problems can direct funding and policies.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

    Keywords: American Indians, Substance Abuse Treatment

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    Drug Use Problems and Addiction Issues

    The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA