Study examines substance abuse prevention among Indian youth
A study published in the July issue of Addictive Behaviors suggests positive family relationships and religious affiliation can reduce the risk of substance abuse among Indian youth.

Addicted family members, exposure to violence and deviant peers can influence a youth's decision to abuse drugs. But ManSoo Yu of the University of Missouri said a positive environment helps mediate the impact of such risk factors.

"For American-Indian youths, our study suggests that intervention and prevention programs should consider a supportive family environment as an important focus,” Yu said in a press release. “Healthy relationships protect adolescents against exposure to violence and negative social environments, and therefore, may lower their risk for drug involvement. Practitioners also can encourage adolescents to connect with religious organizations, which can reduce negative peer influence and increase positive family relationships.”

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the rate of illicit drug use among Indian youth is significantly higher than that of their peers.

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Press Release: Healthy Family Relationships and Religious Involvement Buffer Youth against Risk Factors Related to Drug Abuse (University of Missouri 7/27)