Alcohol, drugs, and family violence: perceptions of high school students in southwest Alaska.



Many programs have attempted to address alcohol and drug use and family violence as issues of public health. This paper examines the degree to which high school students in Southwest Alaska identify these issues as problems in their communities. Qualitative and quantitative data come from a 1995 survey of children in grades 9 to 12 in four villages, one town, and one boarding school in Alaska. Alcohol policies differ in rural Alaska, with "dry" communities banning alcohol possession, "damp" communities allowing alcohol possession but not sale, and "wet" communities permitting purchase and importation of alcohol. Although the majority of all students believe alcohol and drugs are problems in their communities, only 45% of town students and 22% of village students report too much family violence in their communities. Qualitative data indicate that alcohol and drugs are of concern to young people. One female student, when asked if she would be a successful person, responded "Yes, because I look at my drunk relatives and tell myself, that will never happen to me."



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International Journal of Circumpolar Health


International Association of Circumpolar Health Publishers

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