Project Title

Association between Substance Use and Weapon-Related Injuries among Middle and High School Students in the United States

Authors' Affiliations

Christian Nwabueze, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN Liang Wang, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

Location

Ballroom

Start Date

4-12-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

4-12-2019 2:30 PM

Poster Number

86

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

Biostatistics & Epidemiology

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Liang Wang

Type

Poster: Competitive

Classification of First Author

Graduate Student-Doctoral

Project's Category

Healthcare and Medicine

Abstract Text

ABSTRACT


Objectives

There is a growing concern about the increasing incidence of weapon-related injuries among middle and high school students in the United States, but the association with substance use remains unclear. This study aimed to examine the association between substance use and weapon-related injuries among middle and high school students in the United States.

Design

Population-based cross-sectional study

Setting

Public and private middle and high schools in all 50 states of the United States and District of Columbia

Methods

Data were obtained from the 2015 Youth Behavioral Risk Survey (YRBS) (n=15,624). Weapon-related injuries were injuries caused by any weapon. Substance use was defined as when someone uses psychoactive substances including alcohol and illicit drugs. Substances in this study included marijuana, heroin, cocaine, amphetamine, ecstasy, alcohol and injected illegal drugs. Substance abuse referred to the harmful use of any of these substances. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to examine the association between substance use and weapon-related injuries after adjustment for covariates.

Results

There were 574 (7.70%) cases of weapon-related injuries among the males and 361 (4.85%) cases of weapon-related injuries among the female population. The highest proportion of weapon-related injuries was among the American Indians (10.42%) while the lowest proportion was among the whites (5.74%). Of all the substance use groups, alcohol users had the highest number of cases of weapon-related injuries (N= 689, 7.37%) but the highest proportion of weapon-related injuries was among heroin users (N= 147, 45.51%).

The use of marijuana (Odd Ratio (OR) = 1.45, 95% confidence interval (CI) =1.16 -1.80) and illegal drug injection (OR =3.71, 95% CI = 2.28 -6.03) were associated with increased odds of weapon-related injuries. Carrying weapon on school property (OR =2.21, 95% CI =1.69 – 2.89) and alcohol use (OR = 1.53, 95% CI =1.3 – 1.8) were also found to be positively associated with weapon-related injuries. However, being female (OR = 0.8, 95% CI = 0.7 – 0.98) was associated with lower odds of weapon-related injuries.

Conclusion

Marijuana use, illegal drug injection, alcohol use and carrying weapon on school property were positively associated with weapon-related injuries among middle and high school students in the United States. The findings may help reduce weapon-related injuries in middle and high schools if policy makers enact laws that limit access to weapons especially those involved in substance use and prohibit bringing of weapons into the school properties.

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Apr 12th, 9:00 AM Apr 12th, 2:30 PM

Association between Substance Use and Weapon-Related Injuries among Middle and High School Students in the United States

Ballroom

ABSTRACT


Objectives

There is a growing concern about the increasing incidence of weapon-related injuries among middle and high school students in the United States, but the association with substance use remains unclear. This study aimed to examine the association between substance use and weapon-related injuries among middle and high school students in the United States.

Design

Population-based cross-sectional study

Setting

Public and private middle and high schools in all 50 states of the United States and District of Columbia

Methods

Data were obtained from the 2015 Youth Behavioral Risk Survey (YRBS) (n=15,624). Weapon-related injuries were injuries caused by any weapon. Substance use was defined as when someone uses psychoactive substances including alcohol and illicit drugs. Substances in this study included marijuana, heroin, cocaine, amphetamine, ecstasy, alcohol and injected illegal drugs. Substance abuse referred to the harmful use of any of these substances. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to examine the association between substance use and weapon-related injuries after adjustment for covariates.

Results

There were 574 (7.70%) cases of weapon-related injuries among the males and 361 (4.85%) cases of weapon-related injuries among the female population. The highest proportion of weapon-related injuries was among the American Indians (10.42%) while the lowest proportion was among the whites (5.74%). Of all the substance use groups, alcohol users had the highest number of cases of weapon-related injuries (N= 689, 7.37%) but the highest proportion of weapon-related injuries was among heroin users (N= 147, 45.51%).

The use of marijuana (Odd Ratio (OR) = 1.45, 95% confidence interval (CI) =1.16 -1.80) and illegal drug injection (OR =3.71, 95% CI = 2.28 -6.03) were associated with increased odds of weapon-related injuries. Carrying weapon on school property (OR =2.21, 95% CI =1.69 – 2.89) and alcohol use (OR = 1.53, 95% CI =1.3 – 1.8) were also found to be positively associated with weapon-related injuries. However, being female (OR = 0.8, 95% CI = 0.7 – 0.98) was associated with lower odds of weapon-related injuries.

Conclusion

Marijuana use, illegal drug injection, alcohol use and carrying weapon on school property were positively associated with weapon-related injuries among middle and high school students in the United States. The findings may help reduce weapon-related injuries in middle and high schools if policy makers enact laws that limit access to weapons especially those involved in substance use and prohibit bringing of weapons into the school properties.