Risk and protective factors for adolescents’ illicit drug use: A population-based study

Posted on 2018-04-04 - 12:00

The use of illicit drugs by adolescents is a widespread problem in Taiwan. The aim of this study was to identify risk and protective factors.


Web-based survey of high school students.


Senior high schools and vocational high schools in northern Taiwan.


Survey data were collected from 15,754 students. Logistic regression analysis examined potential risk and protective factors in individual, family and peer/school domains for lifetime, past-year and past-month illicit drug use and the single and/or multiple use of ketamine, methamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and marijuana.


The prevalence rates of illicit drug use varied from 1.18% to 2.19% by frequency and type of illicit drug use. Perceived availability of illicit drugs, betel nut chewing, drug use by a family member, peer drug use, missing classes and type of school were significant risk factors in lifetime, past-year and past-month use. Sensation seeking, family member and peer drug use were common factors in ketamine, methamphetamine, MDMA and marijuana use. Drug use by a family member increased the risk of multiple drug use. Smoking was a risk factor for ketamine use. Drug-related knowledge was a protective factor.


These findings support the idea that there exist multilevel risk and protective factors for drug use, especially in the family and peer/school domains. School-based interventions should be designed to integrate different levels of risk and protective factors.


Liao, Jung-Yu; Huang, Chiu-Mieh; Tzu-Chi Lee, Charles; Hsu, Hsiao-Pei; Chang, Chiu-Ching; Chuang, Che-Jen; et al. (2018): Risk and protective factors for adolescents’ illicit drug use: A population-based study. SAGE Journals. Collection. https://doi.org/10.25384/SAGE.c.4060157.v1
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