|Kush And Orange Juice|
Asian and black teenagers in the United States are less likely to use drugs or alcohol than adolescents of other races, a new study has found.
The survey of 72,561 teens found that American Indian (Native American) youth had the highest rates of drug or alcohol use, with 48 percent reporting they had used the substances in the past year. That was followed by 39 percent of whites, 37 percent of Hispanics, 36 percent of mixed-race teens, 32 percent of blacks and just 24 percent of Asians, according to the research published on Monday in Archives of General Psychiatry, reports Nicole Ostrow at Bloomberg.
|Professor Dan Blazer, Duke University Medical Center: “This is a very real public health problem and all of us need to be concerned about it”|
The findings that black teens are less likely to drink or use drugs than whites may help defeat stereotypes and help programs “focus on the subgroups of adolescents who are at greater risk,” according to study author Dan Blazer (cool last name there, Dan), a professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Caroalina.
Overall, 37 percent of the teens in the study — 27,705 of them — said they had used alcohol or drugs in the past year, researchers said.
“This is a very real public health problem and all of us need to be concerned about it,” Blazer said last week. “We need to be looking for it and we need to be trying to jump in to do what we can to get these kids into treatment and turn them around while they’re still adolescents.”
About 90 percent of adults with alcohol and drug problems started using before the age of 18, and half started before the age of 15, according to the Partnership at Drugfree.org, a nonprofit that gives parents anti-drug information on prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery for teens.
Researchers used information from the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2005 to 2008, the only American survey designed to provide yearly estimates of substance use in the United Stastes. The survey asks about alcohol and nine classes of drugs, including marijuana, inhalants, heroin and prescription painkillers. The study includes youth ages 12 to 17.
About 37 percent of American Indian teens reported using alcohol in the past year, compared with 35 percent of whites and 32 percent of Hispanics, 31 percent of mixed race, 25 percent of blacks and 19 percent of Asians.
|Ashland Psychology Blog|
|NIDA will only fund studies which look for supposed “negative consequences” of marijuana use. No medical studies are funded.|
For drug use, about 31 percent of American Indians used in the past year, followed by 23 percent of those who consider themselves mixed race and 20 percent of whites, according to the study. About 19 percent of black teens, 18 percent of Hispanic teens and 12 percent of Asian teens admitted they had used drugs in the past year.
Use isn’t equal across all Native American tribes, according to Blazer, but he said it’s impossible to tell which American Indian teens by tribe were using drugs and alcohol.
“What surprised us most was the relatively lower rate of use among African Americans,” Blazer said. “The public perception is that that’s not the case.”
Prescription opioid painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin have replaced inhalants as the second most commonly used drugs among teens behind marijuana, according to the study.
Teens who used heroin were the most likely to develop addiction or abuse, the research found.
Marijuana use, which was used at twice the rate of most other drugs in the study, also supposedly resulted in “addiction or abuse” by the definition of the study, based on escalation of use, legal problems or interference with other activities.
But who knows — all that could mean is, they smoked more pot at the end of the year than at the beginning, which would qualify as “escalation of use” without having any particular consequences except being high more often, not that horrible an outcome if it’s marijuana we’re talking about.
Blazer said more studies are needed to determine which “treatments” work best for kids who have drug and alcohol problems.
The study was funded by grants from — guess who? — the infamous National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which refuses to fund any studies which might show positive attributes of cannabis. It is NIDA’s stated and official policy to only fund studies which look for bad things about marijuana.
NIDA, which oversees 85 percent of the world’s research on controlled substances, reaffirmed its longstanding policy to The New York Times.
“As the National Institute on Drug Abuse, our focus is primarily on the negative consequences of marijuana use,” a spokesperson told the Times in 2010. “We generally do not fund research focused on the potential beneficial medical effects of marijuana.”
In the federal government’s mindset, any use of marijuana is “abuse” which requires “treatment” — in, of course, expensive “drug rehab” facilities which treat marijuana use as if it’s an “addiction” right up there with heroin, methamphetamine or crack cocaine.