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Using the Rural-Urban Continuum to Explore Adolescent Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use in Montana

NCJ Number
Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse Volume: 18 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2009 Pages: 93-105
Carl L. Hanson; M. Lelinneth L.B. Novilla; Michael D. Barnes; Dennis Eggett; Chelsea McKell; Peter Reichman; Mike Havens
Date Published
January 2009
13 pages
This study compared 30-day prevalence of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use among high school adolescents in Montana.
Findings indicate that certain settings appear to have a lower prevalence of adolescent substance use. Using Rural-Urban Continuum Codes for classifying rural, urban, and metro counties revealed that the odds of 12th graders abusing substances such as marijuana, LSD, or any drug while residing in more rural parts of the continuum were less than their counterparts residing in more urban and metro settings on the continuum. However the odds of 12th graders using cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and alcohol while residing in more rural continuum settings were greater compared to those in more urban and metro continuum settings. Unlike previous research, this study did not find greater use of cocaine, stimulants, or inhalants among rural 12th graders in Montana. Findings suggest that when considering the relationship between rurality and substance use among adolescents, use tends to vary across substances. Gradations as defined through the Rural-Urban Continuum Code classification scheme provide a more powerful way to analyze the relationship between rurality and substance use among adolescents. Data were collected from 15,372 participants’ answers on the Montana Prevention Needs Assessment. Tables, figures, and references


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