PREVALENCE AND ASSOCIATED RISK FACTORS OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE AMONG ADOLESCENTS IN RURAL COMMUNITIES, CENTRAL THAILAND: A CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY
Background: Substance abuse is one serious social challenge that has continued to in crease over a long time. This major problem currently affects society, the economy and national development. One related study conducted in southern Thailand found that the prevalence of substance abuse in youth groups was 7% in 2002 increasing to 9% and 13% in 2003 and 2004, respectively. Nevertheless, information regrading substance abuse among adolescents in Thailand remains limited especially in remote rural communities. The study aimed to determine the prevalence and associated factors concerning substance abuse.
Methods: The percent study was conducted in 2 high schools in rural communities, Chachoengsao and Sa Kaeo Provinces, central Thailand. A cross-sectional quantitative study identified the prevalence and associated factors of substance abuse among adolescents, A standardized self-reported questionnaire was used to collect data including demographic characteristics, history of substance abuse and associated factors. Multivariate analysis was performed to adjust confounders using logistic regression analysis.
Results: The sample size of the study totaled 652 adolescents. The lifetime prevalence of substance abuse was 24.4% while the one-year prevalence of substance abuse was 16.7%. After adjusting for potential confounders, the risk factors associated with one year substance abuse among adolescents were being male (AORs; 2.19, 95%CI; 1.16-4.116), friend inducement (AORs; 3.28, 95%CI; 1.64-6.55), smoking (AORs; 3.22, 95%CI; 1.50-6.90) and alcohol consumption (AORs; 4.46, 95%CI; 2.43-8.16).
Conclusion: Our data emphasized that substance abuse was a problem in these rural communities, Public health interventions aimed to prevent substance abuse among adolescents should be designed and provided for these rural communities. Further, schools should provide lessons how to negotiate and avoid coercion when being induced to abuse substances or other unhealthy and dangerous behaviors.
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