Risky Health Behaviors

Risky Health Behaviors

Risky health behaviors are personal actions that can affect health negatively, such as alcohol and drug use or high social media use. The following data look more closely at risky or unhealthy behaviors among young people in Napa County.
Internet and Social Media Usage
Social media is a new phenomenon and its impact on youth is not fully understood yet. Researchers have found evidence of the interaction between high social media usage and increases in depression, anxiety, eating disorders, drug/alcohol exposure, and self-harm. Strategies to reduce time spent on social media and its negative impact include moderating the content that youths can access, creating "social media free" breaks throughout the day, engaging in physical activities, spending time with family and peers, turning off notifications, and setting time limits on app usage. Data from the California Health Interview Survey shows that Napa County youth are engaging in internet and social media for long periods of time and that this is an increasing trend. 
In May 2023, the US Surgeon General released an advisory about the potential benefits and harms of social media use for youth. For LGBTQ young people especially, being online can provide a safe space and community, but can also expose young people to risks like cyberbullying. Nationally, LGBTQ young people spend an average of 5 hours online every day, which is about 45 minutes longer than non-LGBTQ young people.
"Online spaces have been found to support the mental health and well-being of LGBTQ young people through the exploration of diverse sexual orientations & gender identities, peer connection, and social support. 
However, online spaces can pose harm to LGBTQ young people, such as higher risk of cyberbullying, compared to their non-LGBTQ peers." 
Smoking cigarettes is the leading cause in the US of preventable diseases, disabilities and death. Consumption of smokeless tobacco as well as electronic cigarettes (vapes) also lead to serious health effects. Second hand smoke continues to put individuals at risk of disease and premature death. By products of the tobacco industry are pollutants of the environment. For more information on the impacts of tobacco and the benefits of quitting smoking, please refer to our Tobacco Page
Substance Use Disorder
The CDC states that:
"Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) are treatable, chronic diseases characterized by a problematic pattern of use of a substance or substances leading to impairments in health, social function, and control over substance use.
"According to the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 40.3 million Americans, aged 12 or older, had a substance use disorder in the past year."
Drug and Alcohol Usage 
Among 11th graders and youth in non-traditional schools, alcohol/drug use among teens is high, with about 1 out of every 4 teens in grade 11 and almost half of all teens in non-traditional educational systems reporting use in the past month. 
According to the US Department Health and Human Services, alcohol is the most commonly used substance among youth. However, an alarming increase in use of vaping devices was observed in this age group. The chart below shows data on vaping among youth in traditional and non-traditional educational systems. Long-established and new challenges exist when working with teens on prevention of unhealthy outcomes linked to substance use disorder. Visit the Napa Opioid Safety Coalition website to learn more about community projects focused on youth.
Toggle the chart menu below to select from Step 3 data on alcohol and drug usage, including binge drinking, cigarette and marijuana usage. Not all categories in the dashboard below are populated for Napa County because small numbers in the data are suppressed.
In Napa County, the Napa Opioid Safety Coalition (NOSC) is part of the California Overdose Prevention Network (COPN), which is the largest statewide overdose prevention network in California and the nation. COPN is a network for coalitions, organizations, and individuals working at the forefront of the overdose epidemic. Members of the NOSC include representatives from Napa County's Sheriff's Office, ALDEA, HHSA Public Health and Behavioral Health Divisions, Providence St. Joseph Health, Michael Leonardi Foundation, and many other engaged community members. For more information, click on the NOSC logo below and you will be directed to the NOSC page. 
Napa County Opioid Overdose Snapshot Report
Every year the California Department of Public Health, Substance and Addiction Prevention Branch (SAPB) produce a report on opioid related overdoses for every California county. The image on the right shows some of the variables available on the report. Click on this image to the to view the full report produced for 2021. The most recent snapshot report can be viewed and downloaded from https://cdph.ca.gov/opioiddashboard/ by selecting Napa County from the dropdown menu on the left.
There may be small data differences between the report by CDPH and Napa county data. Some factors that can cause that difference include: different definitions for an opioid associated death; and differences in methods to pull and classify that data. Napa County Epidemiologists are able to investigate cases in closer detail and report a more precise number than the state, that uses automated methods to calculate these metrics. Both sources are reliable, however, it is important to understand possible differences when comparing the data.  

The pandemic accelerated an increasing trend in overdose deaths over the last decade, likely because of related factors such as stress and social isolation. Fentanyl continues to drive the increase in overdose deaths. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is often combined with other drugs, like cocaine or methamphetamine, and may be added with or without a user's knowledge. Learn the Facts About Fentanyl
Traffic Safety and Alcohol Usage
The California Office of Traffic Safety developed a method that groups places with similar population size and ranks them according to different traffic safety metrics. This ranking helps counties and cities understand areas for improvement. The line across the top of the charts represents the best possible rank and the closer the bars are to that line, the better that location is doing compared to similar locations. Napa County has been going down in the rankings for all metrics, especially those associated with alcohol consumption. Visit California Office of Traffic Safety for more information about crash rankings data.
The same information is displayed below for this cities of American Canyon, Calistoga, Napa, and St. Helena. The fluctuations from year to year are because of the relatively small number of crashes for each city. However, there is an overall decrease in the rankings for all cities in Napa County when it comes to alcohol-involved crashes. For the cities of American Canyon and Napa, these rankings remain consistently low, which indicates relatively high rates of drinking and driving behavior. 
Research indicates an association between retail alcohol outlets and restaurants serving alcohol with alcohol-related crashes. In areas with increased access to alcohol, public transportation and educational campaigns can be prioritized to prevent drinking and driving behavior.