3. Adolescent substance use and risk behaviours in Morocco: results and indications for prevention
The 2021 MedSPAD survey aimed to investigate the prevalence of substance use and risk behaviours among adolescent Moroccan students to identify predictive factors for improving mental health and drug prevention policies in schools.
The sample was representative of students aged 15-17 (n=5,362). Schools were randomly selected and an anonymous selfsurvey was used. Items included the use of a range of substances as well as risk perception, knowledge and opinion about drugs. The presentation will focus on 16 year-old students.The main results show that e-cigarette use (10%; LY: 6%; LM: 3%) has become as common as cigarette use, with a prevalence about four-fold higher among males than females. Although cannabis availability is higher than in the other Southern countries, use and high-risk use do not seem more widespread. Interestingly, amphetamine/metamphetamine use is among the highest in the whole region. Availability and use of non-prescribed painkillers are higher than in the other Southern countries. Tranquillisers and social media use are among the highest in the region and the only risk behaviour more prevalent among females. Perception of problems related to both social media and gaming is higher among males, indicating that although female use is common, harmful use concerns prevalently boys.
Results indicate that prevention strategies should focus on male adolescents, as all indicators point at greater perception of availability and lower risk, reflecting in prevalence of use almost four-fold higher than among females. Compared to the other countries, e-cigarette and social media use deserve a special attention