Substance use and sociodemographic correlates among adolescents in a low-income sub Saharan setting

Authors

  • Anne Abio Injury Epidemiology and Prevention Research Group, Turku Brain Injury Center, Division of Clinical Neurosciences, Turku University Hospital and University of Turku, Finland. http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4568-3509
  • Jurdas Sezirahiga PeerCorps Trust Fund, 352/64 Makunganya Street, Co-Architecture Building, 4th Floor, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
  • Laura E. Davis PeerCorps Trust Fund, 352/64 Makunganya Street, Co-Architecture Building, 4th Floor, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
  • Michael L. Wilson Injury Epidemiology and Prevention Research Group, Turku Brain Injury Center, Division of Clinical Neurosciences, Turku University Hospital and University of Turku, Finland.

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5249/jivr.v12i1.1195

Keywords:

Substance use, Adolescents, Epidemiology, Sub Saharan, Africa

Abstract

Background: The present study investigated the social and behavioral correlates of substance use, specifically bang or cocaine or similar drugs among a school-based sample of adolescents in a low-income urban setting

Methods: The study utilized data on 2,176 school-attending adolescents aged 11-16 years in Dar es Salaam (DES) to examine social and behavioral correlates for lifetime substance use. The correlates under investigation included, demographic - age and gender; social - poverty, parent-adolescent relationship; behavioral – truancy, aggressive behavior, injury risk; psychological - depression and suicide ideation. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were then carried out on several variables identified from the 2006 Tanzanian Global School-based Health Survey (GSHS) questionnaire.

Results: Approximately seven percent of school-attending adolescents (n=144) reported having used an illicit substance at least once during their lifetime. After adding significantly associated covariates into a logistic regression model, we found that only truancy [OR= 2.29 (CI=1.07 – 4.90)], suicide ideation [OR=4.36 (2.32 – 8.19)] and parents who had checked their adolescents' homework (OR=0.56 (CI=0.32 – 1.00)] were significantly associated with reported substance use.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that health promotion programs should simultaneously target multiple factors associated with substance use behaviors among school-attending adolescents in Dar es Salaam. They should take into account the range of psychosocial characteristics of school-attending adolescents which may be impacted by or result from substance use.

Author Biographies

Jurdas Sezirahiga, PeerCorps Trust Fund, 352/64 Makunganya Street, Co-Architecture Building, 4th Floor, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Research Associate with the PeerCorps Trust Fund, and a Pharmacist from Rwanda

Laura E. Davis, PeerCorps Trust Fund, 352/64 Makunganya Street, Co-Architecture Building, 4th Floor, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Epidemiologist with a MSc in Epidemiology from Queens University in Canada, working as a Research Coordinator

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Published

2019-11-24

Issue

Section

Original Research Article