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01.12.2006 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Ausgabe 12/2006

Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 12/2006

Prevalence of psychoactive drug use among medical students in Rio de Janeiro

Zeitschrift:
Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology > Ausgabe 12/2006
Autoren:
MD, DSc Sonia Regina Lambert Passos, MD, MSc Pedro Emmanuel Alvarenga Americano do Brasil, MD, MSc Maria Angélica Borges dos Santos, MD, MSc Maria Tereza Costa de Aquino

Abstract

Background

Drug use and abuse may hamper learning capabilities and the development of technical skills in medical students and, therefore, the quality of care offered to patients. The aim of this investigation was to estimate the prevalence of psychoactive drug use among medical students of public universities in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and to identify characteristics associated with substance use.

Method

This was a cross-sectional investigation designed to include all medical students of four universities. The final sample included 1,054 students. Patterns of licit and illicit drug use (at least once in lifetime drug use, drug use in the last 30 days (LTD) and CAGE) before and during medical school were assessed by a multiple-choice, self-administered anonymous questionnaire.

Results

Alcohol abuse was more prevalent among male students from higher income families. Alcohol LTD use was more prevalent among male students with college-educated parents. Tobacco, cannabis and inhalant lifetime use was more prevalent among males and tranquillizer use among females. Tobacco, cannabis and tranquillizer lifetime use was more prevalent among students with divorced or dead parents. Inhalant lifetime use was more prevalent among students from higher income families. Students who had college-educated, divorced or dead parents or evidenced tobacco, cocaine or inhalant lifetime use were more prevalent among cannabis users. Male students from higher income families had higher prevalence of cocaine lifetime use.

Conclusion

Substance use in this group of medical students is not widespread compared to rates reported for developed countries. Preventive efforts should focus on alcohol and cannabis use by medical students.

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