eISSN: 1689-3530
ISSN: 0867-4361
Alcoholism and Drug Addiction/Alkoholizm i Narkomania
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2/2022
vol. 35
 
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abstract:
Original paper

The prevalence and factors associated with medicine use among secondary school students. Mokotów Study 2020

Agnieszka Pisarska
1
,
Krzysztof Ostaszewski
1
,
Jakub Greń
1
,
Krzysztof Jan Bobrowski
1

1.
Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Public Health Department, Youth Prevention Unit “Pro-M”, Warsaw, Poland
Alcohol Drug Addict 2022; 35 (2): 113-140
Online publish date: 2022/12/16
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Introduction
The conducted study’s two aims were to: 1) assess in three waves in 2012, 2016 and 2020 the changes in the prevalence of adolescents’ medicine use for headaches, stomach aches, difficulties in falling asleep, nervousness, bad or depressive mood and lack of energy as well as corresponding health complaints and 2) explore factors associated with medicine use, including respondents’ well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Material and methods
All three waves include 15-year-old students from randomly selected classes of Warsaw schools, with about 800 participants in each wave. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 wave was carried out online. Analyses of the factors associated with medicine use included sociodemographic factors, corresponding health complaints and selected individual and social factors. Hierarchical logistic regression models with Wald statistics were used.

Results
Comparison of the last wave (2020) with previous waves (2012 and 2016) indicated a decrease in the proportion of girls and boys who use pain relievers. After control for sex and corresponding health complaints, logistic regression indicated that psychological distress, sensation-seeking, impulsivity, family support and difficulties in coping with pandemic-related restrictions increased the risk of medicine use. Parents’ higher education level reduced the risk of adolescent children’s medicine use.

Discussion
A significant proportion of Warsaw adolescents use medicines, especially pain relievers. Medicine use is associated with psychological distress, sensation seeking and impulsivity. Adolescents who did not perform well under pandemic constraints were more likely to use medicines for mental health problems.

Conclusions
Improving young people’s competences, including the ability to cope with stress, should be the subject of health promotion and prevention activities.

keywords:

Youth, Prevalence, Medicine use, Risk/protective factors

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