Iraquelma M Furtado, Liliane G Araujo, Josimar M Almeida, Adriana M Oliveira-Miranda, Darlene T Ferreira, Glaucia C Silva-Oliveira and Aldemir B Oliveira-Filho
Background: Globally, the use of illicit drugs is a public health problem. Generally, the use of licit drugs tends to precede and increase the risk of regular use of illicit drugs. Since, the family environment can influence this process. In Brazil, marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug, especially among adolescent users. In northern Brazil, epidemiological studies of illicit drug use in the population of adolescents and young people are still scarce. This study determined the prevalence and factors associated with the regular use of marijuana and cocaine among high school students in the municipality of Breves, Pará, Brazilian Amazon. Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out in four high schools in the municipality of Breves, in which a self-filling form was used to collect information and enable the description and analysis of socio-demographic, economic and family conditions related to the regular use of illicit drugs. Chi-Square and Odds Ratio tests were used to indicate and quantify the contribution of factors associated with regular use of illicit drugs. Results: Among 3,218 students, 1,828 (56.8%) agreed to participate in this study. The age range was 14-52 years, with predominance of female students (55.6%). The prevalence of experimentation and regular use of marijuana and cocaine was 8.8% and 4.0%, respectively. The average initial age of use of marijuana and cocaine was 13.5 years. Most students who regularly use illicit drugs use only marijuana (81.1%). Several factors associated with regular use of illicit drugs have been identified. In particular related to social, economic and demographic aspects. Conclusion: The prevalence of students using illicit drugs is moderate in the municipality of Breves. Possibly, regular use of marijuana and cocaine is associated with the social, demographic and economic issues of the user's family.