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Examination of Multiple Substance Use Between African-American and Caucasian Female College Students

NCJ Number
Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse Volume: 2 Issue: 2 Dated: 2003 Pages: 35-52
Octavia Madison-Colmore Ed.D.; Theresa Ford Ph.D.; Vanessa Cooke; Cyrus Ellis
Date Published
18 pages
This article examines the use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and cocaine among African-American and Caucasian female college students.
The study explored substance use among female college students to determine the extent of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine use; and whether or not African-American female college students were more or less likely to drink and use drugs than were Caucasian female college students. The study participants consisted of 445 female college students from 10 colleges and universities located in the Eastern region of the United States. Three hundred and seven were African-American and 138 were Caucasian. Data were collected using the Core Alcohol and Drug Survey. The results indicated that alcohol was the most frequently used substance in the study, followed by tobacco, marijuana, and cocaine, respectively. During the past year, more than 73 percent of the participants consumed alcohol, compared to the 25 percent of the women that used tobacco, the 23 percent that used marijuana, and the less than 2 percent that used cocaine. In examining drug use during the past 30 days, the popularity of the previous listed drugs remained ample, 53 percent of participants reported alcohol use, 17 percent reported tobacco use, 13 percent reported marijuana use, and less than 1 percent reported cocaine use. The Caucasian participants reported using tobacco and alcohol more frequently compared to the African-American participants. The African-American participants reported more frequent usage of marijuana than the Caucasian participants. Alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems were found to be greater among Caucasian women than African-American women. Almost 27 percent of the participants reported drinking once a week or more over the course of a year. Nearly one-fourth reported using tobacco and marijuana. More than 12 percent used tobacco once a week or more within the last year and nearly 18 percent reported using tobacco during the past 30 days. It is strongly suggested that college counselors develop and implement prevention activities, both primary prevention to discourage student from drinking that have not started, and also secondary prevention activities to discourage students that drink infrequently, from continued use. 7 tables, 36 references