Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
Print version ISSN 1516-4446
WAGNER, Gabriela Arantes et al. Alcohol and drug use among university students: gender differences. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. [online]. 2007, vol.29, n.2, pp. 123-129. Epub Feb 28, 2007. ISSN 1516-4446. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-44462006005000033.
OBJECTIVE: This study compared the pattern of alcohol, legal and illegal drugs use among students of the Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil) in 1996 and 2001. METHOD: Samples of 2.564 (1996) and 2.837 (2001) students answered a questionnaire proposed by the World Health Organization, which characterizes the consumption of alcohol, legal and illegal drugs in lifetime, in the last 12 months and in the last 30 days. RESULTS: Men showed a significant increase in lifetime use of tobacco (44.8% to 50.9%), marijuana (33.7% to 39.5%) and hallucinogens (6.6% to 14.1%) between 1996 and 2001. No significant change was observed among women between 1996 and 2001 in tranquilizer use. Concerning the consumption reported in the last 12 months, both genders displayed significant increases in the consumption of marijuana (22.3% to 27.1% for men and 12.9% to 16.9% for women), amphetamines (1.9% to 5.0% for men and 3.4% to 5.6% for women), and inhalants (9.8% to 15.7% for men and 5.4% to 10.6% for women). The greatest gender difference was observed in consumption reported in the last 30 days with significant increases in male use of tobacco (19.6% to 23.5%), marijuana (15.8% to 20.5%), amphetamines (1.1% to 3.2%), and inhalants (4.0% to 7.9%). Substance use reported in the last 30 days remained stable among women between the 2 surveys. CONCLUSION: Rates of substance use among university students increased. These gender differences in substance consumption should be taken into account in the development of preventive and treatment strategies for undergraduate university students.
Keywords : Alcohol drinking; Illegal drugs; Gender identity; Schools; Period analyses.