Originally Published: April 11, 2018 5:55 a.m.
A new study finds that Native American college students use tobacco and alcohol less than other college students, and Native American students’ participation in their traditional cultural activities is related to their lesser use of the substances.
The study’s six authors include Homer Hubbelld of the Navajo Studies Conference, Inc., in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Dorothea Bluehorsee of Central New Mexico Community College, also in Albuquerque.
The study is planned for publication in July 2018 in Addictive Behaviors.
While college attendance is associated with an increased risk of substance use, the study examined alcohol, tobacco and drug use in relation to gender, institution, age, and cultural involvement among Native American college students in the Southwest.
Native American community college and university students in a large Southwestern city completed an online survey about past-month and lifetime substance use and their involvement in cultural activities.
The study found that the students’ cultural involvement was related to less past-month substance use. In the past month, 43 percent reported drinking alcohol, 27 percent reported binge drinking, 20 percent reported using drugs and 13 percent said they were currently smokers.
The findings highlight cultural strengths and comparatively low rates of tobacco and alcohol use among Native American college students in the Southwest.