Young people's attitudes towards illicit drugs: A population-based study

Karina Friis; Jeanette Østergaard; Sidsel Reese; Mathias Lasgaard

<![CDATA[AIMS: Previous studies indicate that young people who have positive attitudes towards illicit drugs are more inclined to experiment with them. The first aim of our study was to identify the sociodemographic and risk behaviour characteristics of young people (16-24 years) with positive attitudes towards illicit drug use. The second aim was to identify the characteristics of young people with positive attitudes towards illicit drugs among those who had never tried drugs, those who had tried cannabis but no other illicit drugs, and those who regularly used cannabis and/or had tried other illicit drugs. METHODS: The analysis was based on a population-based survey from 2013 (N = 3812). Multiple logistic regression was used to analyse the association between sociodemographic and risk behaviour characteristics and positive attitudes towards illicit drugs. RESULTS: Young men had twice the odds of having positive attitudes towards illicit drug use compared with young women (AOR = 2.1). Also, young age, being single, being employed, smoking tobacco, practising unprotected sex, and experimental cannabis use were associated with positive attitudes towards illicit drug use. Finally, use of cannabis at least 10 times during the previous year and/or use of other illicit drugs had the strongest association with positive attitudes to illicit drug use (AOR = 6.0). CONCLUSIONS: Young people who have positive attitudes towards illicit drug use are characterized by a broad range of risky behaviours. These findings may help to identify young people at risk of initiating illicit drug use and thereby support the development and implementation of prevention programmes. ]]>

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Udgivelsesform Videnskabelige artikler
År 2017
Udgiver Scandinavian Journal of Public Health