1.5). Fifty-one per cent were male. Of those who reported consuming alcohol, 95% knew that they should have a friend or parent check their blood glucose in the middle of the night after drinking but only 62% reported actually doing this in practice. Similarly, 98% reported knowing that they should wear a medic alert identification but only 79% reported actually doing this. Of those who reported consuming cannabis, 14% reported forgetting to check blood glucose and 14% reported forgetting insulin when using cannabis. From the chart review, a significantly lower proportion of adolescents reported substance use during their clinic visits (alcohol 26%, tobacco 19%, illicit substance 25%) compared to the self report in the survey (alcohol 55%, tobacco 30%, illicit substance 32%).


Adolescents’ knowledge of harm-reduction practices for the use of alcohol and other illicit substances is not always put to practice. Motivating adolescents to use their knowledge in practice is an important area to improve in diabetes self-management. Those who reported engaging in substance use in the survey had not always reported use during interactions with health care providers. This emphasizes the need for unbiased, universal education of all adolescents in the clinic.


Adolescent; Alcohol; Cannabis; Harm reduction; Tobacco; Type 1 diabetes

PMID: 30833824 PMCID: PMC6376295

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