Substance and Alcohol use in Young Adults in Turkey as Indicated by the CAGE Questionnaire and Drinking Frequency

Noro Psikiyatr Ars. 2015 Mar;52(1):29-35. doi: 10.5152/npa.2015.6916. Epub 2015 Mar 1.


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to determine drinking problems and to analyze the socio-demographic factors associated with problematic alcohol use in young adults.

Methods: The study included 262 students who were surveyed for substance use problems in a postgraduate program using the Cut down, Annoyed, Guilty, Eye opener (CAGE) Questionnaire. The relationships between socio-demographic variables and alcohol use were assessed using both univariate and multivariate analyses.

Results: Of the whole sample, 56.11% reported that they had tried drinking alcohol and 1.91% had tried cannabis. The prevalence of problematic alcohol use was 15.3% and 29.7% according to CAGE1+ and past-year drinking frequency, respectively. Alcohol use by mothers was an important differentiating factor for alcohol use by their daughters. Graduating from a university located in the Eastern/Southeastern Anatolia regions, graduating from a private high school, and having average academic performance levels were determinants of problematic alcohol use according to CAGE1+ and frequency of drinking.

Conclusion: This study suggests there is need for early intervention to prevent exposure to the risk factors for problematic alcohol use in young adults, emphasizing that probable presence of an alcohol use disorder and high frequency of drinking are related to socio-demographic factors (high school type, geographical location of the university, and family structure).

Keywords: Alcohol use; CAGE questionnaire; prevalence; socio-demographic factors; substance use.