Patterns of adolescent tobacco and alcohol use as predictors of illicit and prescription drug abuse in minority young adults

Kenneth W. Griffin, Sarah Lowe, Caroline Botvin, Bianca P. Acevedo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present longitudinal study examined the relationship between patterns of cigarette smoking and alcohol use during adolescence and illicit drug abuse (DA) and prescription drug abuse (PDA) in early adulthood. The sample consisted of 984 predominantly minority young adults (57% women) who completed (a) six annual surveys as adolescents attending New York City public schools (grades 7 through 12) and (b) a follow-up telephone interview as young adults (mean age = 23). Findings from a series of latent growth models indicated that growth in cigarette smoking and alcohol use during adolescence each independently predicted DA in adulthood. Baseline levels of alcohol use in 7th grade also predicted DA in adulthood. Growth in alcohol consumption during adolescence predicted PDA in young adulthood. Results indicate that an escalation during adolescence in the use of substances that are legal for adults (cigarettes and alcohol) contributes to greater DA and PDA in young adulthood. One implication of these findings is that interventions that can prevent cigarette smoking and alcohol use during adolescence may also reduce DA and PDA in young adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-242
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2019

Keywords

  • alcohol
  • prescription drug abuse
  • tobacco
  • urban
  • young adults

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