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Alcohol Use Among Medically Vulnerable Youth

An assessment of approximately 400 youth ages 9-18 with chronic medical conditions found that more than a third of high school students reported past-year alcohol use.  More than half of those students revealed that alcohol can interfere with their medications and laboratory tests. The study, “Alcohol and Marijuana Use and Treatment Nonadherence Among Medically Vulnerable Youth”, is published in the August 2015 issue of Pediatrics. The National Institutes of Health supported this research effort.

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Gender Differences in Alcohol Use and Development of High Risk Youth

Eight hundred and fifty high-risk youth with low GPAs in an economically disadvantaged Midwest school district were recruited to participate in a study exploring gender differences in the students’ development related to substance use. Researchers followed students from ninth grade through young adulthood. The study found that males’ heavy drinking, nicotine use, and marijuana use grew persistently from adolescence through young adulthood while females gradually increased their nicotine use while maintaining low levels of heavy drinking and marijuana use.  The study also found that the effect of nicotine use quantity on heavy drinking was greater among males than females.

The study, “Gender Differences in the Developmental Trajectories of Multiple Substance Use and the Effect of Nicotine and Marijuana Use on Heavy Drinking in a High-risk Sample” is published in the November 2015 issue of Addictive Behaviors. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism supported this research effort.