Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 535-540

Drug use among teenagers and young adults in Bhutan

1 Department of Global Health, Research School of Population Health, The Australian National University, 62 Mills Road, Acton, Canberra, Australia; Phuentsholing General Hospital, Phuentsholing, Chukha, Bhutan
2 School of Demography, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences, The Australian National University, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kinley Wangdi
62 Mills Road, Acton, Canberra, ACT 2601

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_348_19

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Background: Use, possession, and illegal transactions of controlled substances have increased in recent years in Bhutan. This study aimed to determine the national prevalence of ever drug use and identify its associated factors amongst teenagers and young adults. Methods: This study was conducted using data from the National Health Survey 2012 of Bhutan. The outcome variable of interest was ever drug use in teenagers and young adults. The questionnaire was developed following the WHO STEPwise approach to surveillance of non-communicable diseases (STEP). Univariate and multivariate logistic regression were performed to identify correlates of ever drug use. Results: The prevalence of ever drug use among teenagers and young adults was 3.2% (n = 672). The factors associated with ever drug use were: being men; being single; being in age group of 18-24 years; having a primary school, high school, monastic, university, or diploma education; being technicians or salespersons; feeling always lonely; having ever consumed alcohol, and having ever smoked. Conclusion: Compared to the other countries in the WHO South-east Asia region, the prevalence of ever drug use in Bhutan is low. Use of other substances, including smoking and alcohol use, was associated with ever drug use. For greater effect, drug use prevention strategies should include prevention of smoking and alcohol use.

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