The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3007.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - 9:30 AM

Abstract #63483

Drug Use Patterns Among American Indian Students Enrolled in Tribal Colleges

Diana Flannery, PhD, Department of Health and Community Services, California State University, Chico, 607 Butte Hall, Chico, CA 95929-0505, 530.898.4993,, Steven E. Shive, PhD, Health & Community Services, California State University, Chico, 607 Buttle Hall, 400 First Street, Chico, CA 95920-050, and Fred Beauvais, PhD, Tri Ethnic Research Center, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Department of Psychology, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

American Indians (AIs) are almost invisible on most college campuses with the exception of some institutions located near reservations and the nation's 30 tribally controlled colleges. The National Advisory Council on Indian Education reported to Congress that the programs and curriculum of non-Indian colleges and universities were not attuned to the special cultural needs of AI students. Very little is known about the health status of AI college students or how to reach them.

Objectives: To fill a gap in understanding the health needs of AI college students by presenting aggregate data from 6 tribally controlled colleges;

To present data on the nature and extent of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use among AI students;

To present factors that influence decisions to use drugs/alcohol and identify ceremonial tobacco use and student participation in AI culture and traditions.

Conclusions: AI students had lower levels of alcohol (49% used in the last month, 27% were drunk in the last month) and higher levels of tobacco (52% current smokers, 27% current smokeless tobacco users) and marijuana use (27% used in the last month) than US college students. Students reported their own health, pride, parents, and relatives were very important in preventing their drug use. Students who followed the AI way of life and perceived harm with regular marijuana and tobacco use were significantly more likely in the low to moderate risk groups. Tribal colleges provide an unique avenue for addressing the health of AIs and providing opportunities for health education.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: American Indians, Tobacco

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.

Influence of Lifestyle on Native Communities

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA