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Rural Indiana Profile: Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs

NCJ Number
Date Published
40 pages
This 1997 study describes the use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs in rural areas of Indiana; the extent of alcohol and other drug-related crime; the impact of substance abuse on health and health policy; and the costs of substance abuse; policy recommendations and a resource list for addressing substance abuse problems are included as well.
Researchers conducted seven Rural Focus Groups, which were composed of 15 juveniles and 60 adults, including experts in criminal justice, health, prevention, and education. In addition, interviews were conducted with Federal and State program officials, representatives from treatment and prevention programs, and community leaders, so as to obtain a comprehensive profile of public and private initiatives. Findings show that among youth, rates of use for alcohol, tobacco, and most other drugs are higher in rural Indiana than elsewhere in the State and the Nation. Sixty-one percent of Indiana prisoners need alcohol or other drug treatment; nearly half of State inmates who need treatment receive it, compared to 18 percent of prisoners needing treatment nationwide. There is almost no information on the effectiveness of classroom prevention programs, treatment for rural residents, or prison-based treatment programs. The study further found that rural residents have difficulty accessing substance abuse treatment, with transportation being the primary impediment. Despite their potential to foster leadership and implement the shared goals of State agencies, Local Coordinating Councils have created few systematic changes, and they lack visibility and accountability. Inconsistent reporting practices make it impossible to identify where alcohol and other drug- related crimes are most concentrated within rural Indiana. Recommendations are offered for the Division of Mental Health, Local Coordinating Councils, the Governor's Commission for a Drug-Free Indiana, the Department of Education, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, the Department of Correction, and State and local criminal justice agencies. Extensive tabular and graphic data and a 70-item listing of resources


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