PurposeThe National Guard provides critical support both domestically and abroad with soldiers dispersed throughout America and spanning the urban-rural continuum. To determine if location-specific interventions may be needed, we compared the prevalence and severity of cannabis and alcohol use among National Guard members across localities.
MethodsMichigan National Guard members were enrolled (N = 2,746) during drill weekends as part of a larger randomized behavioral trial. Cannabis (ASSIST; prevalence = 5%) and alcohol use (AUDIT; prevalence = 82%) were compared using hurdle regression models across locality status after adjusting for covariates.
FindingsPrevalence of cannabis and alcohol use was predicted by locality (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.913, 95% CI: 0.838-0.986, P = .029; AOR = 0.963, 95% CI: 0.929-0.998, P = .038, respectively), with more use in urban localities. Neither severity of cannabis nor alcohol use was predicted by locality status.
ConclusionsPrevalence of cannabis and alcohol use in the National Guard is differentially elevated across localities with higher prevalence in more central, densely populated areas. Findings may inform future work considering accessibility and utilization of prevention and treatment services for Guard members across the urban-rural continuum.