247515 Assessing the contextual factors of inhalant use among youth in rural communities in Alaska

Monday, October 31, 2011

David Driscoll, PhD, MPH , Institute for Crcumpolar Health Studies, University of Alaska, Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
Bruce Dotterrer, MS , Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies, University of Alaska - Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
Abuse of harmful legal products that can be inhaled or ingested is a serious and growing problem in many rural Alaskan communities, and particularly so among preteens. This study analyzes data collected during baseline measurements of a community trial to prevent youth's use of harmful legal products in Alaska. Youth in eight communities located throughout the state participated in a survey during the fall of 2009 to measure the prevalence and availability of harmful legal products (n=697). The goal of this study is to compare the contextual factors associated with the use of inhalants in rural Alaska. As reported in national surveys of substance use among youth, participants in this study indicated using alcohol more than any other substance. Interestingly, the prevalence of lifetime inhalant use reported here (9.5%) was higher than either cigarettes or marijuana. Lifetime use varied slightly among demographic factors such as age, gender and ethnicity as well as contextual factors including academic performance, parent employment, household living situation and income. When compared to non-users, significantly larger proportions of participants reporting lifetime inhalant use indicated easy availability of inhalants in the home (F =13.64; p < 0.000), school (F =14.76; p < 0.000), and local retail (F = 7.45; p < 0.000) environments. Users were also significantly more likely than non-users to have consumed alcohol (F = 25.84; p < 0.000). Results of this study may inform the development of effective interventions in other rural communities.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify contextual factors associated with inhalant use among youth in rural Alaska. Discuss the availability of inhalable products in rural communities. Describe possible interventions to combat inhalant use among youth in rural settings.

Keywords: Substance Abuse, Community Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I contributed to the design of the survey instrument, managed the data collected, and conducted the data analysis for this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.