White and Native American adolescents are playing around with way more drugs and alcohol than their black and Asian counterparts, a new study finds, upending traditional beliefs about which teens are actually the most at-risk.
A new study of 72,561 teens published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that a whopping 48 percent of Native American youth said they'd used substances in the past year, followed by 39 percent of whites, 37 percent of Hispanics, 36 percent mixed-race teens, 32 percent of blacks and 24 percent of Asians. Altogether, that translates to 37 percent of teens using alcohol or drugs in the past year. “What surprised us the most was the relatively lower rate of use among African Americans,” said study author Dan Blazer. “The public perception is that that’s not the case.” He hopes that the findings will "refute stereotypes" and get substance abuse programs to focus on the kids who need it most.
And because you're surely curious about which substances the nation's youth are pumping their bodies full of, prescription painkillers like Vicodin are up there, behind the ever-popular marijuana. Alcohol-wise, the study didn't track preferences for Nutcrackers over Four Lokos, but you can bet that either way the kids are getting their kicks on the Lower East Side.