Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health



First Committee Member

Dr. Kendra Ratnapradipa

Second Committee Member

Dr. Christine Chasek

Third Committee Member

Dr. Shinobu Watanabe-Galloway

Fourth Committee Member

Mrs. Ashley Olson


Background: An increasing number of individuals are being negatively affected by substance abuse in the U.S. and Nebraska communities. These communities are seeing immense increases in opioid prescribing rates, especially in rural areas. The aims of this study are to 1) describe the study population of agricultural workers in Nebraska; 2) estimate the prevalence of alcohol misuse, illegal drug use, and anxiety among agricultural workers in Nebraska; and 3) examine factors associated with alcohol misuse among agricultural workers in Nebraska.

Methods: Adult agricultural workers (N=1,206) completed a paper or online survey for Project Ag Aware. Alcohol misuse, illegal drug use, and anxiety were measured with the English-language survey that included the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT), the Drug Abuse Screening Test-1 (DAST-1), and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Screener (GAD-2). Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine factors associated with alcohol misuse.

Results:Respondents were primarily white (91.7%), married (78.3%), male (75.3%), age 65+ (45.4%), and classified as direct agricultural workers (62.3%). The prevalence of opioid use, alcohol misuse, and anxiety were 1.8%, 6.4%, and 14.2%, respectively. Those aged 19-39 had the highest prevalence for all outcomes (GAD 29.2%, AUDIT 25.0%, and DAST 20.8%). Finally, significant risk factors for alcohol misuse were gender (p=0.05), age group (p

Conclusion: Age group, gender, and prevalence of anxiety are all important risk factors that should be considered. Future work should monitor trends associated with substance misuse and anxiety among the agricultural community.

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