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Polysubstance use, the use of more than one substance, is a current problem among adolescents. The study assessed the prevalence of polysubstance use and associated factors among grade 11 students in Bangkok, Thailand. A web-based, cross-sectional study was conducted utilizing the secondary datasets of the Bangkok Behaviour Surveillance Survey (BBSS) in 2017, and the data were collected from June to July 2017. The BBSS is conducted every two years. In the process of analysis, 1,755 adolescents were included. Chisquare test and multiple logistic regression were performed to identify the association between independent variables and polysubstance use.
The prevalence of use of alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana were 26.2%, 14.4%, and 5.9%, respectively. The polysubstance use during the past 12 months was 14.1%. Among 484 student substance users, more than half reported polysubstance use, and 17.4% have used all three substances. Male students were more likely to use polysubstance than females. Having a close friend who uses substances, persuasion of a close friend, recent grade point average (GPA), socio-economic status (SES), and sexual orientation were significantly associated with polysubstance use. As for psychological factors, anxiety and depression were not associated with polysubstance use. However, having had adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) was associated with polysubstance use. In addition, sexual perception and experience and risky sexual behaviour scores were significantly associated with polysubstance use. The multiple logistic regression analysis showed that having a boy/girlfriend, close friends smoking cigarettes, recent low GPA, sexual perception, sexual experience, and high and moderate SES significantly predicted polysubstance use.
Such findings can be used by prevention specialists and health educators to develop and implement alcohol tobacco and marijuana prevention programs and interventions specifically tailored to Thai adolescents.
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