Almost half of the college students in Brazil have used illicit drugs

23 June 2010 - The I National Survey on Use of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs among College Students, released today (23) by the National Drug Policy Secretariat  shows that almost half of Brazilian college students (49%) have tried illicit drugs.

The study indicates that 22% of college students risks developing alcohol dependence. This percentage is 8% referring to cannabis.

The survey heard about 18,000 youths enrolled in public and private institutions of high level education from all over Brazil. It shows that 40% of the students had used two or more drugs in the 12 previous months and 43% said that they made "multiple and simultaneous use" of these substances.

According to the survey, the use of illegal substances is higher among students from South and Southeast of Brazil, students older than 35 years, and the ones studying in private institutions and enrolled in night courses in humanities. No gender interference was observed regarding to consumption.

Smoking is a habit of 22% of young people in higher education. Regarding alcohol, 86% of students said they had already consumed alcoholic beverage. Among those younger than 18 years, the rate is 80%. The study also shows that 18% of young people have already driven under the influence of liquor and 27% have hitched a ride with a drunk driver.

The study shows that the prevalence of alcohol, tobacco and drugs among Brazilian college students is similar to that found among young people in the United States. But there are some peculiarities: the use of cannabis is greater among Americans while, in Brazil, the percentage of students who reported using inhalants is superior.

Full content of the survey (in Portuguese)

Source: Agência Brasil

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