Prevalence and predictors of substance abuse among students in Secondary Schools in Kabarole District.
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INTRODUCTION: A study conducted in secondary schools in Kabarole District to determine the prevalence and factors associated with substance abuse among the students. OBJECTIVES: To establish the magnitude and determine predictors of substance abuse among secondary school students in Kabarole District. METHODOLOGY: The study was a cross sectional survey. A total of 400 students completed the questionnaires. RESULTS: Only 37.8% of the students had ever used at least one substance, and 15.8% used more than one substance. The most common used substances were alcohol 27.3%, cigarette smoking at 21.3%. Mairungi (Khat) 7.3%, and marijuana, 4.0%. Consumption of cocaine and volatile substance was the lowest at 1.5% respectively. The majority of substance abusers were male. The factors associated with substance abuse were older age, male sex, attending special occasions away from school especially at night, excess pocket money at school, experience of depression. The other factors that were also associated with substance use are having a parent or sibling who consumes alcohol, cigarettes, or marijuana, and being violent (fighting). Being sexually active, use of alcohol or marijuana before intercourse, and making a girl pregnant were associated with substance abuse. Multiple substance use increases the likely hood of using other substance as well. The other factors were frequent prayers, participating in club activities, and close monitoring by parents. CONCLUSION: The overall prevalence of substance abuse was low and male students were more likely to be engage in some form of substance abuse. Alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, Mairungi, Marijuana, and Cocaine and volatile substances were the most commonly abused substances. The factors associated with substance abuse were gender, age, poor parental and sibling role models, multiple substance use, being sexually active, excess pocket money, depression, frequent prayers, club activity, and parental monitoring. RECOMMENDATIONS: The DHT and education Department should design control strategies against substance abuse in primary and secondary schools.