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Revista de la Facultad de Medicina

Print version ISSN 0120-0011


CASTANO-CASTRILLON, José Jaime et al. Study of associated factors and prevalence of illegal psychoactive substance use among students of a university in Colombia. [online]. 2017, vol.65, n.1, pp.23-30. ISSN 0120-0011.


The use of illegal psychoactive substances is an increasing issue in university students. Most studies have obtained a frequency of consumption of 30% in this population.


To establish the frequency and factors associated with the use of these types of substances among the students of a university in Colombia.

Materials and methods:

A cross-sectional study was conducted. The population was a representative sample of 343 students. An anonymous survey about psychoactive substance consumption and associated factors was administered.


31.5% of students referred consumption at some point in the past 12 months, being marihuana the most prevalent substance with a reported consumption of 64.8%. The mean age of first time consumption was 17.04±2.12, particularly marihuana with a frequency of 61.1%. All associated factors considered showed a significant relationship with consumption in the past 30 days, the past year, and sometime in life Likewise, family problems were the factor with the highest prevalence ratio (PR=15.467, consumption during the past year), followed by peer pressure (PR=7.847).


The use of illegal psychoactive substances among university students seems to be considerable, suggesting interventions with emphasis on the most involved programs.

Keywords : Risk Factors; Street Drugs; Students; Universities (MeSH)..

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