Some characteristics of regular polysubstance users among Slovene 15 year-olds


Background: Alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use are public health problems in Slovenia. 14 % of 15 year-olds in Slovenia drink alcohol weekly, 13 % smoke weekly and 10 % used cannabis in the last month. These figures are placing Slovenia around or above HBSC average. In Slovenia, we lack data on polysubstance use (PU).

Objective: To assess the prevalence of regular PU among Slovene 15 year-olds and examine factors associated with PU.

Method: Nationally representative sample of 15-year-old students from 2014 Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children was used. We compared 15-year-old students that report regular PU (use of tobacco, alcohol and cannabis) with those reporting no current substance use. Regular PU was defined as at least weekly smoking, at least weekly alcohol drinking and/or lifetime drunkenness at least twice and cannabis use at least 3 days in the last year. To assess associations of PU with factors from individual, socio-economic, peer, school, family, mental health and lifestyle spheres a two-step multivariate logistic regression was used.

Results: 5 % of Slovene 15 year-olds report on regular PU. Regular PU was associated with individual (male gender, physical fighting), peer (peer substance use, spending evening time with friends), school (low perceived teachers’ support), life-style (early sexual intercourse, regular energy drinks consumption, irregular breakfast) and mental health factors (feelings of depression).

Conclusion: This study is the first in Slovenia examining regular PU among youth. Results show that preventive efforts are needed. Results serve as a valuable source of information for researchers and policymakers.


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