Are reasons for the first use of drugs and family circumstances predictors of future use patterns?

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De Micheli, D.
Formigoni, MLOS
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The objective of this study was to investigate whether the level of drug dependence in adolescents can be predicted by any of the following factors: the reasons to which the first use or non-use of drugs is attributed, living arrangements, economic situation, family history of alcohol use, or school delay. 213 Brazilian adolescents were classified according to DSM-III-R criteria as: 71 non-drug-dependent users (Group 1), 71 lightly/moderately dependent users (Group 2), and 71 severely dependent users (Group 3). Logistic regression identified the following predictors of current drug use patterns: low economic level, school delay, living only with the mother, having a poor/bad family relationship, and influence of friends, pleasure seeking, or curiosity as reasons for initial drug use. Among Groups I and 2, never felt like trying, fear of dying from an overdose, and religious reasons were the main reasons for not using other drugs. School delay and troubled family relationships were important predictors of current drug dependence, and pleasure seeking was a prominent reason for initial drug use. This suggests that drug use prevention should not simply focus on reducing drug availability but also on helping young people to develop good family/peer relationships and finding healthy ways to enjoy themselves. (C) 2001 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Addictive Behaviors. Oxford: Pergamon-Elsevier B.V., v. 27, n. 1, p. 87-100, 2002.