DefinitionPercentage of adolescents (grades 9-12) who responded 1 or more times on the [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/chronic/pages/yrbs/yrbs.aspx Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)] to the question: "During your life how many times have you ever used methamphetamines also called "speed", "crystal", "crank" or "ice" ?" Responses of 0 are not considered as having a positive response for methamphetamines.
NumeratorWeighted number of adolescents (grades 9-12) who responded 1 or more times on the YRBS to the question: "During your life how many times have you ever used methamphetamines also called "speed", "crystal", "crank" or "ice" ?" Responses of 0 are not considered as having a positive response for methamphetamines.
DenominatorWeighted number of adolescents (grades 9-12) with complete and valid responses on the YRBS to the question on ever using methamphetamines in their lifetime, excluding those with missing, "Don't know/not sure" or "Refused" responses.
Data Interpretation IssuesAlaska has conducted a statewide YRBS biennially since 1995 with the exception of 1997. Weighted data were not obtained in 2001 and 2005 and, therefore, no statewide estimates are available for those years. A YRBS conducted in 1999 did not include the Anchorage School District and, therefore, was not considered a valid statewide estimate. No YRBS was conducted in Alaska in 1997.
Traditional high schools are sometimes called comprehensive high schools. They are public high schools that are distinct from alternative high schools, which serve students at risk of not graduating, charter schools, correspondence schools, and students enrolled in high school in correctional facilities.
Responses are weighted to reflect youth attending public traditional high schools in Alaska.
The question on adolescent (grades 9-12) on ever using methamphetamines in their lifetime has been asked on the Alaska YRBS since 2003.
Why Is This Important?Methamphetamine is characterized as being highly addictive and is a public health concern.^1^ Not only can methamphetamine use cause physical harm to the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular system but also has psychological impacts such as depression and anxiety.^2^ While the rate of methamphetamine use has begun to decline, many impoverished urban and rural areas in the U.S. continue to have a high prevalence of abuse.^3^[[br]]
1. Henry BL, Minassian A, Perry W. Effect of methamphetamine dependence on everyday functional ability. Adict behave 2010;35(6):593-598.
2. Shane Darke, et. al. (2008). Major physical and psychological harms of methamphetamine use, Drug and Alcohol Review, 27:3, 253-262.
3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Behavioral health barometer: United States,
2015. HHS Publication No. SMA-16-Baro-2015. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2015. [http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content//SMA16-BARO-2015/SMA16-BARO-2015.pdf]. Accessed September 20, 2016.
Healthy People Objective: Reduce the proportion of adolescents reporting use of alcohol or any illicit drugs during the past 30 daysU.S. Target: 12.8 percent
How Are We Doing?In the 2017 YRBS, 2.9% of Alaska adolescents (high school students in grades 9-12) reported using methamphetamines in their lifetime. Adolescent report of ever using methamphetamines was higher in students reporting academic performance of not mostly As and Bs (6.2%) than those reporting performance of mostly As and Bs (1.5%). The prevalence of ever using methamphetamine was higher among current smokers, current smokeless tobacco users, current marijuana users and binge drinkers when compared to their peers who did not use those substances.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?In the 2017 YRBS, Alaska adolescents reported approximately the same prevalence of ever using methamphetamine (2.9%) use as seen nationally (2.5%). Since 2007, the prevalence of lifetime methamphetamine use in Alaska has mirrored that seen in the US.
What Is Being Done?The State of Alaska Epidemiologic Profile on Substance Use, Abuse and Dependency is available at: [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dbh/Documents/Prevention/EPI2013.pdf]. This profile provides a more detailed report on the state of substance use and abuse in Alaska.
Evidence-based PracticesThere are multiple sources for research on interventions to prevent and reduce the use of illicit drugs in the adolescent population. Alaska is partnering with other states, the [https://www.cdc.gov/ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)] and the [https://www.samhsa.gov/ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)] to develop a series of public health strategies gleaned from the evidence base.
SAMHSA maintains a website that collects the latest in substance abuse prevention evidence based practices. The link to the information can be found here: [https://www.samhsa.gov/prevention].