Saulius Čaplinskas


Objective. To assess prevalence and social dimensions (family, school and peers) of substance use among Lithuanian adolescents and to provide effective recommendations of substance use prevention. Methods. A survey using a standard questionnaire was administered in three biggest cities of Lithuania (Vilnius, Klaipeda and Kaunas) twice: in 2006 and 2008. The target population was students of the age group 15-16 years old. Totally 14,155 students were enrolled. Results. 46 percent of respondents had no experience of any substance use. The most consumed drug was cannabis (hashish and marihuana) – 24 percent, followed by sleeping pills – 20 percent. Age of the substance use debut was directly related to further substance, especially cannabis (hashish or marihuana), use (r=0.891, p<0.001). Substance use had especially negative impact on the learning progress and perspectives of further studies and was related to the attitudes towards learning/school: the less interest in studies, the more extensive substance use (r=-0.151, p≤0.001). Parceived parental support and free time spent with parents were significantly related to the children attitudes towards substance use. Children without parental attachment were more prone to substance use and more submissive to the peer pressure. Cigarette smoking, alcohol and drug use were concurrent: students, who smoked cigarettes more often (r=0.425, p<0.001), consumed beer (r=0.323, p<0.001) more often, consumed low percentage drinks (r=0.255, p<0.001) and strong alcohol more often (r=0.313, p<0.001), were also more intensely immersed drug users. Conclusions. Adolescents engaged in the free-time activities with their parents were less prone to smoke cigarettes or marihuana and consume alcohol. Having friends who use drugs was one of the great potential risk factors for personal drug use. Strengthening of relationships among parents, school, community and adolescents is an important measure in helping adolescents to abstain from substance use.

Article in Lithuanian

Keyword(s): psychotropic substance use; schoolchildren; social environment
DOI: 10.5200/sm-hs.2013.042
Full TextPDF