WYSAC surveyed the young adults in North Dakota about alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drug abuse

The North Dakota Department of Human Service, Behavioral Health Division (BHD), contracted with the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center (WYSAC) at the University of Wyoming to conduct the third iteration of the North Dakota Survey of Young Adults. This survey was part of a larger project called the ND Partnerships for Success Strategic Prevention Framework (PFS) State Incentive Grant. As part of that project, the BHD was tasked with maintaining a data workgroup called the State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup. Using some of the PFS funds designated to fund unique data collection, the BHD contracted with WYSAC to conduct the survey beginning in 2016, with subsequent survey administrations in 2018 and 2020. The survey’s major topics included alcohol use, misuse of prescription drugs, marijuana use, and mental health concerns. It tracked trends and changes in these topics over time and served as a public health surveillance measure for young adults, ages 18 to 29.

Some key findings from the report include:

  • The prevalence rates for self-reported alcohol use have remained stable since 2016
  • Men and women had similar alcohol use except for binge drinking
  • Young adults reported low and steady rates of prescription drug misuse
  • Majority of young adults (53%) supported legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use
  • Three-quarters (77%) of young adults thought smoking marijuana once or twice a week had no risk or slight risk of harm
  • One in ten (11%) of young adults seriously considered suicide in the past year

For more details, please check out the report, which is available both on the North Dakota BHD Website, and WYSAC’s site.