Substance Abuse Among High School Students in Zahedan
In order to maintain and promote social health, special attention should be directed towards risky behaviors and the relevant effective factors especially in high-risk groups. Objectives: This study was aimed to identify the prevalence of substance abuse and its related factors among adolescents in Zahedan, Southeast of Iran. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study included a total of 1000 randomly-selected boy and girl high school students by cluster sampling method. Goldberg's
... d. Goldberg's general health questionnaire and the risk behaviors questionnaire were used for collecting data. Data were analyzed using SPSS software and descriptive statistics (i.e. frequency and percentage). Results: The incidences of first experience of water pipe smoking (hookah), chewing tobacco (Nas), tramadol, drugs and alcohol were 21.5%, 6.1%, 4.7%, 4.2% and 7.2%, respectively. The results the incidence in total also showed that 3.5% of the students started smoking in 2010. In addition, lifetime experience and annual incidence of these behaviors was 2 -5 times more likely among adolescents with a family member or a friend who uses substances, compared with those without a history of substance use. Furthermore, such behaviors were 2 -3 times higher in adolescents with abnormal general health compared with the normal ones. Conclusions: Based on the results, the prevalence and incidence of risky behaviors particularly the age at the first experience among students is worrisome. Thus, it is imperative to begin prevention programs for younger adolescents. Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education: The study shows the frequency of common substance use among adolescents in Southeast region of Iran. It suggests establishing comprehensive schoolbased health promotion campaigns targeting the health promoting behaviors in teenagers, including prevention and drug cessation.