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Towards an understanding of substance use risk and prevention factors to promote mental health and human resilience among high school age youth

Substance use was studied among 537 Israeli male (76%; n=407) and female (24%; n=130) high school youth (M age-15.0 years) from 2013-2016. A valid and reliable data collection instrument was used. Demographic factors used for analysis were age, gender, country of origin (e.g., Israel, former Soviet Union, and Ethiopia), and regular or residential school status. The study aim was to understand substance risk and protection factors that may influence resilience to prevent substance use. For the entire study cohort, findings evidence current last 30 day cigarette smoking (37.6%); alcohol use (53.9%) including binge drinking (21.0%); as well as inhalant (5.5%) and cannabis (3.9%) use. No differences were found among the youth based on gender status. Immigrant origin youth reported higher levels of smoking, alcohol, cannabis and inhalant use than those with Israeli origin status. Youth in residential facilities reported higher levels of substance use than those attending regular school

Author(s): Alexander Reznik

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