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University of Colorado Denver

Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health

Project EAST

About Project EAST

Project EAST is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01DA027665) to examine factors related to early substance use development among American Indian youth. 

This project involves extensive analysis of data collected as part of the Wiconi Teca Waste project.  Using state-of-the art analytic techniques, we are examining substance use patterns as they emerge in early adolescence and exploring how they relate to the context of adolescents’ lives (stressors, early puberty, relationships with peers and parents, participation in tribal culture). 

Project EAST will address 4 specific aims:

  1. Extend descriptions of the development of drug, tobacco, and alcohol use among American Indian youth into early adolescence;
  2. Estimate the relationship between stressful events and early substance use development in this population;
  3. 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; and
  4. Explore how parenting and connection to tribal culture modify risk for early adolescent substance use.

Project EAST will provide information on factors that support healthy development in early adolescence and those that place young adolescents at risk for substance problems.  It will help in identifying promising preventive interventions, and findings will be shared with the community to help in ongoing efforts to improve outcomes for youth.

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