Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 215-220

Prevalence and predictors of illicit drug use among school-going adolescents in Harare, Zimbabwe

1 Department of Global Health, Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Loma Linda University, School of Public Health, Loma Linda, California, USA
2 Department of Applied Mathematics, National University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
3 Department of Community Health, University of Malawi, College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi, Zambia
4 Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia

Correspondence Address:
Emmanuel Rudatsikira
Loma Linda University School of Public Heath, Department of Global Health, Nichol Hall Room 1318, Loma Linda, California 92350
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1596-3519.59574

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Objective: To estimate the prevalence and predictors of illicit drug use among school-going adolescents in Harare, Zimbabwe. Methods: We used data from the Global School-based Health Survey (GSHS) conducted in 2003 in Harare to obtain frequencies of a selected list of characteristics. We also carried out logistic regression to assess the association between illicit drug use and explanatory variables. For the purpose of this study, illicit drug use was defined as marijuana or glue use. Results: A total of 1984 adolescents participated in the study. Most of the sample were females (50.7%), 15-year- olds (30.3%), nonsmokers and non-alcohol drinkers. Nine percent of the subjects (13.4% males and 4.9% females) reported having ever used marijuana or glue. Males were more likely to have used marijuana or glue than females (OR=2.70; 95% CI [1.47, 4.96]). Marijuana or glue use was positively associated with cigarette smoking (OR=11.17; 95% CI [4.29, 29.08]), alcohol drinking (OR=7.00; 95% CI [3.39, 14.47]) and sexual intercourse (OR=5.17; 95% CI [2.59, 10.29]). Parental supervision was a protective factor for marijuana or glue use (OR=0.31; 95% CI [0.16, 0.61]). Conclusions: Public health intervention aimed to prevent marijuana or glue use among adolescents should be designed with the understanding that illicit drug use may be associated with other behaviors such as teenage sexual activity, cigarette smoking and alcohol use.

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