[Association between drug consumption and depression among high school students]

Clínica Psiquiátrica Universitaria, Hospital Clínico, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.
Revista medica de Chile (Impact Factor: 0.3). 02/2012; 140(2):184-91. DOI: 10.1590/S0034-98872012000200006
Source: PubMed


The presence of emotional problems may trigger drug abuse.
To determine the association between illicit drug use and severity of depression symptoms among students of public secondary schools in Santiago, Chile.
A probabilistic sample of 2,597 adolescents aged between 12 and 18 years (45% women), attending first year in public high-schools in Santiago, answered self-report questionnaires about consumption, during the last 30 days ,of alcohol, tobacco and marihuana, and the Beck Depression Inventory - II. Logistic regression models were used to study the association between drug use and severity of depression symptoms, adjusting by sex.
Tobacco and marihuana use was reported by 38 and 13% of students, respectively. Frequency of consumption was significantly higher among women. Mild, moderate or severe depressive symptoms were found among 16%, 14% and 9% of students, respectively. Depressive symptoms were more common among women. There was a significant association between drug use and severity of depression among participants of both genders.
The association between depressive symptoms and drug use should be considered on the design of treatment guidelines for these health problems in Chile.

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    ABSTRACT: To explore the link between alcohol use, binge drinking and mental health problems in a representative sample of adolescent and young adult Chileans. Age and sex-adjusted Odds Ratios (OR) for four mental wellbeing measures were estimated with separate conditional logistic regression models for adolescents aged 15-20 years, and young adults aged 21-25 years, using population-based estimates of alcohol use prevalence rates from the Chilean National Health Survey 2010. Sixty five per cent of adolescents and 85% of young adults reported drinking alcohol in the last year and of those 83% per cent of adolescents and 86% of young adults reported binge drinking in the previous month. Adolescents who reported binging alcohol were also more likely, compared to young adults, to report being always or almost always depressed (OR 12.97 [95% CI, 1.86-19.54]) or to feel very anxious in the last month (OR 9.37 [1.77-19.54]). Adolescent females were more likely to report poor life satisfaction in the previous year than adolescent males (OR 8.50 [1.61-15.78]), feel always or almost always depressed (OR 3.41 [1.25-9.58]). Being female was also associated with a self-reported diagnosis of depression for both age groups (adolescents, OR 4.74 [1.49-15.08] and young adults, OR 4.08 [1.65-10.05]). Young people in Chile self-report a high prevalence of alcohol use, binge drinking and associated mental health problems. The harms associated with alcohol consumption need to be highlighted through evidence-based prevention programs. Health and education systems need to be strengthened to screen and support young people. Focussing on policy initiatives to limit beverage companies targeting alcohol to young people will also be needed.
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