Characteristics of Indian youth and drug use.


The overall high rates of drug use found among Indian youth may be accounted for in part by lack of educational and employment opportunity and other endemic problems of Indian reservations. Individual drug involvement is most highly related to membership in drug using peer clusters; but because of physical isolation, links between drug use and close friends are weaker for Indian youth, and family influence is felt more strongly. Anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem are not related to drug involvement, but angry youth are more likely to have drug-involved peers. Risk factors for Indian youth are low family caring, age first drunk, poor school adjustment, weak family sanctions against drugs, positive attitudes toward alcohol use, risk of school dropout, father not at home, and poor religious identification.