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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

GONZALEZ, Gonzalo B. et al. Estimated occurrence of tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use among 12- to 18-year-old students in Panama: results of Panama's 1996 National Youth Survey on Alcohol and Drug Use. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1999, vol.5, n.1, pp. 9-16. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49891999000100002.

This report provides the first epidemiological evidence on tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use among school students in Panama, using data from a student survey completed in 1996. Specifically, we examine sex, age, grade level, type of school, and urban-rural variations in the occurrence of tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use. Estimates of lifetime prevalence and past-year use of these products were obtained using data from Panama's 1996 National Youth Survey on Alcohol and Drug Use (n = 6477). To account for the multistage sampling design of the survey, all estimates and respective standard errors are derived by the Taylor series approximation method using Epi Info 6.0 CSAMPLE software. In general, more males, more older students, and more students in higher grades have used licit and illicit drugs, even though male-female differences tend to be small. Public-private school differences and urban-rural trends vary depending on the drug. The findings of this study are discussed in relation to the epidemiology and prevention of drug use in Panama. Based on these data, we seek to provide information to be used by the Government of Panama in its planning for prevention programs directed toward students in Panamanian schools.

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