EAST Understanding Early Adolescent Substance Use Trajectories

Factors related to substance use development among American Indian adolescents


​​Specific Aims

  • Extend descriptions of the development of drug, tobacco, and alcohol use among AI youth into early adolescence;
  • Estimate the relationship between stressful events and early substance use development in this population;
  • Determine whether early puberty has an important relationship to early substance use; explore how early puberty interacts with other stressors to impact risk and how deviant peer influences mediate these links;
  • Explore how parenting and connection to tribal culture modify risk for early adolescent.


Findings from the EAST study, documenting significant risk for initiation of tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol use before age 13, were shared with the Community Advisory Board. These advisors urged us to help them find ways to protect their youth. This led directly to grant funding (R01DA035111, Whitesell, PI) which supported the development of the Thiwáhe Gluwáš’akapi program.

Centers for American Indian & Alaska Native Health

Colorado School of Public Health

CU Anschutz

Nighthorse Campbell Native Health Building

13055 East 17th Avenue

Mail Stop F800

Aurora, CO 80045

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