Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
On-line version ISSN 1809-452X
OLIVEIRA, Lucio Garcia de et al. Drug consumption among medical students in São Paulo, Brazil: influences of gender and academic year. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. [online]. 2009, vol.31, n.3, pp.227-239. ISSN 1809-452X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-44462009000300008.
OBJECTIVE: To analyze alcohol, tobacco and other drug use among medical students. METHOD: Over a five-year period (1996-2001), we evaluated 457 students at the Universidade de São Paulo School of Medicine, located in São Paulo, Brazil. The students participated by filling out an anonymous questionnaire on drug use (lifetime, previous 12 months and previous 30 days). The influence that gender and academic year have on drug use was also analyzed. RESULTS: During the study period, there was an increase in the use of illicit drugs, especially inhalants and amphetamines, among the medical students evaluated. Drug use (except that of marijuana and inhalants) was comparable between the genders, and academic year was an important influencing factor. DISCUSSION: Increased inhalant use was observed among the medical students, especially among males and students in the early undergraduate years. This is suggestive of a specific behavioral pattern among medical students. Our findings corroborate those of previous studies. CONCLUSION: Inhalant use is on the rise among medical students at the Universidade de São Paulo School of Medicine. Because of the negative health effects of illicit drug use, further studies are needed in order to deepen the understanding of this phenomenon and to facilitate the development of preventive measures.
Keywords : Students; medical; Street drugs; Sex distribution; Epidemiology; Administration; inhalation.