Most studies examining adolescent alcohol and substance use or abuse hardly include samples from developing countries. To bridge some gap, the prevalence and associated social correlates of alcohol and substance use and abuse was examined among a cohort of school-going adolescents sampled from seven developing countries. Alcohol and substance abuse was measured using the CRAFFT instrument, independent socio-demographic correlates were determined using regression models. A total of 2454 adolescents completed the study, among which 40.9% reported using either alcohol or at least one other substance during the previous 12 months. This was mostly alcohol (37.8%), followed by marijuana/hashish (8.6%) and other substances (8.1%). Among the adolescents who reported using at least one substance, 45% (18.3% of total sample) had CRAFFT scores indicative of problematic or hazardous substance use. Several personal and family factors were independently associated with use/abuse, and the modifiable nature of these factors calls for appropriate intervention strategies.
Keywords: adolescents; developing countries; mental health; social factors; substance abuse.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.