South Carolina Study Shows Rural Moral Dangers

June 30, 2011

Isaiah 65:23? They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them.

Drug Use: Rural teens are at significantly greater risk of using drugs than both suburban and urban teens.

• Five of the 13 measures of drug use showed a significantly higher prevalence rate among rural teens: chewing tobacco (11.5%), chewing tobacco at school (7.6%), smoking cigarettes at school (14.8%), using crack/cocaine (5.9%), and using steroids (7.4%).
Only one measure showed a significantly higher prevalence rate among urban teens (smoking marijuana at school at 6.8%). The remaining seven measures showed no differences by residence.

• Of important note is the prevalence of crystal meth use among rural teens. The proportion of rural teens who reported every using crystal meth (15.5%) was almost double the proportion of urban (8.8%) and suburban teens (9.5%). Crystal meth was the 4th most commonly used drug among rural teens after alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana, making it more popular among rural teens than chewing tobacco.

Authors: Michael D. Mink, PhD(c), MPA
Charity G. Moore, PhD, MSPH Andy Johnson, MPH Janice C. Probst, PhD Amy Martin, DrPH

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