Reducing Teen Substance Misuse: What Really Works

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Author(s): Trust for America’s Health

Published: Nov. 19, 2015

Report Intro/Brief:
“According to the report 24 states scored five or lower out of 10 on key indicators of leading evidence-based policies and programs that can improve the well-being of children and youth and have been connected with preventing and reducing substance — alcohol, tobacco or other drugs — misuse. Four states tied for the lowest score of three out of a possible 10 — Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi and Wyoming — while two states achieved 10 out of 10 — Minnesota and New Jersey. The indicators were developed in consultation with top substance misuse prevention experts. The Reducing Teen Substance Misuse report includes an analysis of the most recent drug overdose death rates among 12- to 25-year-olds, finding that:

  • Current rates were highest in West Virginia (12.6 per 100,000 youth) — which were more than five times higher than the lowest rates in North Dakota (2.2 per 100,000).
  • Males are 2.5 times as likely to overdose as females (10.4 vs. 4.1 per 100,000).
  • In 1999-2001, no state had a youth drug overdose death rate above 6.1 per 100,000. By 2011-13, 33 states were above 6.1 per 100,000. In the past 12 years:
    • Rates have more than doubled in 18 states (Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina and Tennessee);
    • Rates have more than tripled in twelve states (Arkansas, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Utah and West Virginia); and
    • Rates have more than quadrupled in five states (Kansas, Montana, Ohio, Wisconsin and Wyoming).”

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