Substance use among young indigenous Sami--a summary of findings from the North Norwegian Youth Study

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Spein, Anna Rita (2008)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: International Journal of Circumpolar Health (issn: 1797-237X, eissn: 1239-9736)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/ijch.v67i1.18248
  • Subject: adolescents; alcohol use; cigarette smoking; illicit substances; indigenous Sami

OBJECTIVES: To summarise knowledge about substance use among young indigenous Sami living in Norway. STUDY DESIGN: Data from the North Norwegian Youth Study (NNYS)--a longitudinal questionnaire study conducted in 1994-1995 and 1997-1998 that represents the main source of information in the 1990s. METHODS: The 1994-1995 sample included 3,000 ethnically diverse high school students (response rate [RR]: 85%), while the 1997-1998 follow-up sample included 1500 respondents (RR: 55%). RESULTS: Young Sami did not show higher rates than their non-Sami peers for any of the investigated substances. In contrast, young Sami reported lower drinking rates at both assessments when compared with regional and national non-indigenous peers. Nonetheless, Sami with weaker cultural ties reported the highest intraethnic smoking and drinking rates. CONCLUSIONS: Young Sami are not at higher risk for substance use than their regional and national non-indigenous peers. These findings contrast some findings among other indigenous groups indicating "high" indigenous and "low" majority substance use rates.Keywords: adolescents; alcohol use; cigarette smoking; illicit substances; indigenous Sami(Int J Circumpolar Health 2008; 67(1):124-136)
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