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Missoula Healthy Kids Indicators - 2020



Substance abuse refers to a set of related conditions associated with the consumption of mind- and behavior-altering substances that have negative behavioral and health outcomes. Social attitudes and political and legal responses to the consumption of alcohol and illicit drugs make substance abuse one of the most complex public health issues.  Healthy People 2020

There is now a deeper understanding of substance abuse as a disorder that develops in adolescence and, for some individuals, will develop into a chronic illness that will require lifelong monitoring and care.  Healthy People 2020

Substance abuse has a major impact on individuals, families, and communities. The effects of substance abuse are cumulative, significantly contributing to costly social, physical, mental, and public health problems. These problems include:

The three leading causes of death for 15- to 24-year-olds are automobile crashes, homicides and suicides -- alcohol is a leading factor in all three. Source: The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking. 2007.

Even moderate alcohol use can increase the risk of accidental injury. Alcohol is responsible for approximately half of all trauma deaths and nonfatal injuries in the United States.  Source: American College of Surgeons, Committee on Trauma, 2008


MUSAP Report 2010


graph percent of US, Montana, Missoula hi school students who had 1 drink of alcohol in past month 

Source: YRBS 2009

graph missoula hi school students who report drinking in past month by grade

Source: PNA 2008


Healthy People 2020 Target:    
Increase average age of first use from age 12 to age 17    
  Base - 2008 Target
Alcohol age 13 age 16
Marijuana age 14 age 17

The US Dept of Health and Human Services sponsors the Healthy People objectives,
 a science-based, 10-year national plan for improving the health of all Americans.

Missoula's trend:

Alcohol is by far the most commonly used drug by teens in Missoula, followed by tobacco and marijuana.  It is typically the first drug used by teens and many teens who experiment with other drugs do so while under the influence of alcohol.  MUSAP Report 2010

For Additional Data and Information important for evaluating this topic, click here.00

  • MIP arrests - Minor's in Possession citations issued in Missoula
  • Alcohol-related crashes - Montana, for those <age 19
  • Problems associated with underage drinking - US statistics
  • In vehicles and under the influence - Percent of Missoula high school students who wear a seat belt, drive after drinking, or ride with a drinking driver.
  • Use of other drugs including meth and prescription drugs


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