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2000 National Survey on Drug Use & Health

Chapter 6. Prevention-Related Measures

The NHSDA includes an extensive set of risk and protective factors concerned with substance abuse prevention issues. Risk factors include those individual characteristics or social environments associated with an increased likelihood of substance use, while protective factors are related to a decreased likelihood of substance use, or nonuse. These factors derive from circumstances, influences, and perceptions at many levels such as the individual, peer, family, school, and community levels. A number of risk factors have been shown to be correlated with youth use of cigarettes, alcohol, and other illicit drugs. One goal of youth prevention programs has been to identify those factors and design programs that might affect them. Since individual attitudes and perceptions of substance use typically precede substance use, tracking risk and protective factors over time can provide an advance alert of upturns and downturns in actual use.

A recent report (SAMHSA, 2001b) based on the 1997 NHSDA data presented initial findings on a number of risk and protective factors for youth. A more comprehensive list of possible risk and protective factors was included in the 1999 NHSDA. A further analysis of those data is currently underway and will address issues of the relative change in these factors over time and their impact on levels of substance use. The section below presents some results from the 1999 and 2000 NHSDA surveys containing data on attitudes and beliefs about drug use, drug availability, parental disapproval, participation in substance abuse education programs, and the association of risk and protective factors with substance use.

Perceptions of Risk


Parental Disapproval

Delinquent Behaviors Among Youths Aged 12 to 17

Youth Exposure to Prevention Messages and Programs

Association of Risk and Protective Factors with Substance Use Among Youth Aged 12 to 17

Trends in Substance Use by Risk and Protective Factors

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This page was last updated on June 03, 2008.