Brief Report: Puni Ke Ola — Life Flourishes in a Drug-Free Community

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2013

Publication Title

The Community Psychologist


Health resources are limited in rural areas, including high quality substance use prevention. Fortunately, rural prevention is becoming a national priority. Emerging federal legislation, such as The Affordable Care Act, has included provisions for enhanced delivery of prevention interventions in rural areas (Frank, 2011), which may make a significant impact on rural health and health disparities. Differences in health risks among adolescents have indicated a consistent pattern with rural students at most risk (Atav & Spencer, 2002). While research on youth drug prevention historically has had an underrepresentation of rural populations in their samples, thereby creating a dearth of knowledge specific to these populations (Tobler & Stratton, 1997); higher prevalence rates of adolescent alcohol and other drug use have been indicated among rural youth (Gilvarry, 2000; Pruit, 2009). Futhermore, in comparative national analyses, a dire substance use problem is evident in rural compared to nonrural areas, especially among youth (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2004)