Using data administered in 2011 from the Carsey Institute’s Coös Youth Study and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, this brief compares teen substance use patterns in New Hampshire’s most rural county to patterns among rural youth nationwide. Author Karen Van Gundy reports that about half of the teens in Coös County and in rural areas nationwide reported using any substance in the previous year. Alcohol use was reported most often, followed by tobacco or marijuana, and other illicit substances. Rural boys nationwide reported using tobacco at significantly higher rates than Coös boys and girls and rural girls nationwide, while Coös boys reported significantly higher rates of frequent use (that is, three or more times weekly) of marijuana or any substance than Coös girls and rural boys and girls nationwide. Previous research has shown that teens who use marijuana are more “stressed out,” and that such stress can increase their risk for other illicit drug abuse in young adulthood. Van Gundy suggests that substance abuse policies and practices that prevent, reduce, or buffer the stresses faced by Coös teens can also enhance their general well-being as they make the transition to adulthood.
New Hampshire and New England Issue Brief 34
Durham, N.H. : Carsey Institute, University of New Hampshire
Van Gundy, Karen T., "Comparing teen substance use in northern New Hampshire to rural use nationwide" (2013). The Carsey School of Public Policy at the Scholars' Repository. Paper 200.
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