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State of Alaska

Health Indicator Report of Drug Use - Heroin - Adolescents (Grades 9-12)

Heroin has become the popular drug of choice due to the increasing rate of opioid addiction in the U.S. and has become a major public health concern for adolescents.^1^ The prescription painkiller epidemic in the U.S. had caused the current use of heroin in those ages 12 and up to be higher than the rates from years 2002 to 2013.^2^[[br]] [[br]] ---- {{class .SmallerFont 1. Kolodny A, Courtwright DT, Hwang CS, Kreiner P, et al. The prescription opioid and heroin crisis: a public health approach to an epidemic of addiction. Annual Review of Public Health 2015;36:559-574. 2. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. Behavioral health trends in the United States: Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. [http://www.samhsa.gov/ data/]. [http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FRR1-2014/NSDUH-FRR1-2014.pdf]. Published September 2015. Accessed October 7, 2016. }}

Notes

** = Data not available.

Data Sources

  • [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Chronic/Pages/yrbs/yrbs.aspx Alaska Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System], Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, Section of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
  • [https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/index.htm Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)], Division of Adolescent and School Health, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, CDC

Data Interpretation Issues

Alaska 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) lifetime use of heroin has been asked on the Alaska YRBS since 2003.

Definition

Percentage of adolescents (grades 9-12) who responded 1 or more 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 used heroin (also called smack, junk or China White)?" Responses of 0 are not considered as having a positive response for using heroin.

Numerator

Weighted number of adolescents (grades 9-12) who responded 1 or more on the YRBS to the question: "During your life how many times have you used heroin (also called smack, junk or China White)?" Responses of 0 are not considered as having a positive response for using heroin.

Denominator

Weighted number of adolescents (grades 9-12) with complete and valid responses on the YRBS to the question on lifetime use of heroin, excluding those with missing, "Don't know/Not sure," or "Refused" responses.

Healthy People Objective: Reduce the proportion of adolescents reporting use of alcohol or any illicit drugs during the past 30 days

U.S. Target: 16.5 percent

How Are We Doing?

In 2015, 2.2% of Alaska adolescents reported ever using heroin. Current cigarette smokers were over 20 times more likely to have ever used heroin (11.3%) than non-smokers (0.5%). Lifetime use of heroin was also more prevalent among current smokeless tobacco users, current binge drinkers, and current marijuana users.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

For the 2015 YRBS, Alaska adolescents had a similar prevalence of heroin use as the national average of 2.1%. Heroin had the lowest prevalence of lifetime use among the substances tracked on the YRBS for both Alaska and the U.S.

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 Practices

There 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 [http://www.cdc.gov/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)] and the [http://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: [http://www.samhsa.gov/ebp-web-guide/substance-abuse-prevention].
Page Content Updated On 05/10/2017, Published on 05/10/2017
The information provided above is from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services' Center for Health Data and Statistics, Alaska Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health (Ak-IBIS) web site (http://ibis.dhss.alaska.gov). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Tue, 18 September 2018 from Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Center for Health Data and Statistics, Alaska Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health web site: http://ibis.dhss.alaska.gov ".

Content updated: Wed, 10 May 2017 14:05:45 AKDT
The information provided above is from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services' Center for Health Data and Statistics AK-IBIS web site (http://ibis.dhss.alaska.gov/). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Tue, 18 September 2018 5:10:24 from Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Center for Health Data and Statistics, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: http://ibis.dhss.alaska.gov/ ".

Content updated: Wed, 10 May 2017 14:05:45 AKDT