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2012, vol. 37, iss. 3, pp. 154-159
Abuse of alcohol, tobacco and drugs among the young people of Knjazevac
aZdravstveni centar, Knjaževac
bZavod za hitnu medicinsku pomoć, Bar, Crna Gora
cDom zdravlja, Služba za zaštitu zdravlja dece i omladine, Zaječar
dDom zdravlja, Doljevac

emaildraganamitrovic1981@gmail.com
Abstract
In terms of health, risky behavior is defined as any behavior that could endanger health. The appearance of risky behavior is characteristic for the period of adolescence. The abuse of tobacco, alcohol and psychoactive substances in the twentieth century and nowadays, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, has taken on the epidemic character. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of tobacco, alcohol and drug consumption among the adolescents in primary and secondary schools in Knjazevac. Material and methods: the survey was conducted in the period January-February 2011. The survey of pupils and students was anonymous and conducted by the members of the Counseling Center for Young People in Knjazevac. The questionnaire was created by Jovica Djodjevic, a pediatrician from Knjazevac, a member of The Counselling Center for Youth and modeled according to the questionnaire used in the ESPAD study (ESPAD=European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs). Four hundred sample adolescents of primary and secondary schools in Knjazevac were surveyed. The poll consisted of nine questions. The mean age was 15. Results and discussion: of 400 surveyed adolescents, 95.5% believed that alcohol, drugs and cigarettes were dangerous to human health. Of 400 adolescents, 92.4% of the respondents considered that psychoactive substances were more dangerous than cigarettes and alcohol. About 45% of respondents thought that someone wanted to try tobacco, alcohol or drugs because it would draw attention on them, 4.9% thought that they would solve important problems in that way and 49.75% thought that curiosity was the reason. The average age when the respondents tried cigarettes for the first time was 13.5 years of age, which was done by 48.5% of the surveyed children. There were smokers in 74.7% of their families. On average the respondents tried alcohol for the first time at the age of 14, namely 89.6% of them did it. 46.5% of the respondents told that in their families they drank alcohol once a week; including 43.4% that did that very rarely and in 10.1% of families it was on a daily basis. 12.7% of the respondents tried psychoactive substances. They first did it at the age of 11.4. Of 400 respondents, 43.6% said that they got the information on the harmful effects of alcohol, tobaccos and drugs from their parents, 42.2% the information received from television and the Internet, 4.9% obtained the information from their friends, 2.7% from their physicians, 1.0% from the teachers at school, and 5.6% were other, unmarked sources of information. Conclusion: the results show that the use of cigarettes in the adolescent period is a very common phenomenon. Most respondents come from families where there are smokers. The consumption of alcohol by the pupils and students of Knjazevac is rather frequent. Alcohol is consumed at least once a week in the families of the surveyed children. A smaller number of the children dare to try drugs. Most often they try drugs because they have been persuaded by their peers and because they would like to be 'more important' in their groups. Most respondents have learnt from their parents, television and the Internet about the harmful effects of alcohol, drugs and cigarettes. They get the information in a small percentage from their teachers and health workers. What is required is continual education of the young in kindergartens and schools about the dangers of alcohol, drugs and tobacco. Young people, their parents and other important figures in their lives, the whole community and the media should be involved in programs that promote harmful effects of alcohol, drugs and tobacco. We must reduce the availability of tobacco, alcohol and drugs to children. Counseling Services for Youth and Pediatric Departments of Health Care Centers need to promote healthy styles of life. They need to increase their activities related to the health education of children.
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article language: Serbian
document type: Original Paper
published in SCIndeks: 22/03/2013