American Indian Youth living on Reservations are at greater risk to be involved with alcohol and drugs at an early age and are more likely to dropout of school as a result than White, Hispanic and African American Youth.1 The purpose of the study is to identify and compare the current trends in alcohol use among American Indian adolescents in order to understand which services will better serve this population. The review of the literature examines the alcohol trends among the general population of adolescents in living in the United States, as well as the contributing factors and distinct characteristics of abuse that researchers have associated with American Indians youth. The survey results from a 2005 Needs Assessment on a reservation in Nevada and the Nevada Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) for the county surrounding the reservation are used to analyze trends in adolescent substance abuse, primarily alcohol. This study facilitates a greater understanding of what is necessary to create effective treatment and prevention programs for the youth population on reservations.

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Dr. Mary Pritchard