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Salud Pública de México

versión impresa ISSN 0036-3634


MEDINA-MORA, Ma Elena et al. Drug used among adolescents: results from the National Survey on Addictions, 1998. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2003, vol.45, suppl.1, pp.s16-s25. ISSN 0036-3634.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this paper is to describe drug and associated factors use among adolescents (12 to 17 years of age). MATERIAL AND METHODS: Data come from the recent Encuesta Nacional de Adicciones, 1998 (National Survey on Addictions) undertaken in urban areas of Mexico. A probabilistic, multi-stage, stratified cluster sampling design was used to select the study population. The sampling unit was the individual in each household. Statistical analysis consisted of the estimation of prevalences of drug use, with 95% confidence intervals. Associations were analyzed using logistic regressions models. RESULTS: Excluding tobacco and alcohol, 3.57% of males and 0.6% of females have used one or more drugs; 2.14% and 0.45% used them in the 12 months previous to the survey, and 1.4% and 0.3% in the previous 30 days, respectively. Marihuana was the drug more often used by males (2.4%) and females (0.45%), followed by inhaled solvents (1.08% and 0.20%), and cocaine (0.99% and 0.22%), respectively. The risk of using illicit drugs was associated to being male, having dropped out from school, perceiving availability, drug use by family and friends, social tolerance among friends, and symptoms of depression. CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents between 12 to 17 years of age are exposed to increasing drug use. The rates of drug use have risen, especially in the northern region of Mexico and in the big urban areas (Tijuana, Mexico City and Guadalajara). These findings emphasize the need to develop campaigns to detect emotional problems. Preventive measures should provide appropriate care to prevent drug use as a mechanism to cope with such emotional conflicts. Also, more intense preventive interventions should be targeted to adolescents with a high probability of developing drug abuse.

Palabras llave : street drug; adolescence; risk factors; national survey; Mexico.

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