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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

Print version ISSN 1415-790XOn-line version ISSN 1980-5497


HORTA, Rogério Lessa et al. Prevalence and factors associated with illicit drug use throughout life: National School Health Survey 2015. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2018, vol.21, suppl.1, e180007.  Epub Nov 29, 2018. ISSN 1415-790X.


The use of illicit drugs is a public health concern. This paper describes the prevalence and factors associated with the use of illicit drugs throughout life among 9th grade students attending public and private schools in daylight period in Brazil.


Data from the Brazilian Adolescent School-based Health Survey (PeNSE) were analyzed. Use of illicit drugs at some point in life was assessed considering marijuana, cocaine, crack, solvent-based glue, ether-based inhalants, ecstasy, and oxy. Data were analized descriptively and by the Poisson’s regression model.


The use of illicit drugs at least once in life was reported by 9,0% of participants, being more prevalent among girls and associated with alcohol or tobacco use, active sexual life, feeling of loneliness, little or no contact between school and parents, and the experience of familial aggressions. The outcome was inversely associated with close contact with parents and their supervision. Prevalence was higher among participants whose mothers had higher educational levels and had, who had a payed job, and who attended public schools.


The prevalence of lifetime use of illicit drugs was stable when the three PeNSE samples were compared, but it resulted more common among girls in 2015 for the first time and was associated with the same conditions found in prior studies.


Family and school appear to be protective factors, especially when there is direct supervision and care. It is important that both girls and boys are given the same attention when it comes to this this subject.

Keywords : Illicit drugs; Schools; Prevalence; Adolescent; Surveys; Behavior.

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