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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

Print version ISSN 1415-790X


PAVANI, Rafael Augusto Borges; SILVA, Elissandro de Freitas  and  MORAES, Maria Silvia de. Information about drugs and its relation to drug abuse among high school students. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2009, vol.12, n.2, pp.204-216. ISSN 1415-790X.

OBJECTIVE: To find the perception high school students have of drug abuse prevention programs, from whom they learned and with whom they talk about drugs; to relate drug consumption to this information. METHOD: A cross-sectional survey was carried out in São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo, Brazil. A self-completion questionnaire was given to a proportional sample of 1,041 high school students. RESULTS: 89.2% of the students received orientation about drugs at school. The communication media selected to promote drug prevention campaigns were: talk 83.1%, television 72%, newspaper 33.7%, specific courses 29.3%, posters 27.8%, and radio 25.8%. Media that allow dialogue and discussion were better evaluated while the merely informative media were more criticized. They would choose mainly their parents (56.6%) and friends (50.5%), followed by specialists and teachers (respectively 30.4 and 22.7%) to talk about drugs. They reported that they learned about the subject from parents (66.5%), teachers (60%), magazines and newspapers (51%), and friends (41.4%). Receiving information about drugs at school or learning about drugs from parents and teachers were associated to lower prevalence of drug consumption in the month before. CONCLUSION: Students consider parents and teachers as drug information sources; however they prefer to talk about this subject with parents and friends. The school is a suitable place to deal with drug abuse prevention, and strategies that permit the development of the students' reflexive and judgment skills should be used for that purpose.

Keywords : Street drugs; Substance-related disorders; Students; Health communication.

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