Understanding the Relationship between Substance Use and Self-Injury in American Indian Youth.
Barlow, A.~~Tingey, L.~~et al.
This article examines the co-occurrence of substance use and self-injury among reservation-based youth in the US. Methods: White Mountain Apache tribal leaders and Johns Hopkins University formed a partnership to address self-injury and substance abuse among Apache youth. Data on suicide (deaths, attempts, ideation), non-suicidal self-injury, and substance use were analyzed from the White Mountain Apache tribally mandated self-injury surveillance registry from 2007 to 2010, including 567 validated incidents from 352 individuals aged 15-24 years. Conclusion: High rates of co-occurring self-injury and substance use within this population highlight the importance of research to understand relationships between these behaviors to design preemptive and integrated interventions. Scientific Significance: Tribal-specific and culturally informed data on the co-occurrence of self-injury and substance use hold promise for reducing the combined toll of years of productive life lost among American Indian youth.