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The prevalence of alcohol consumption among students newly enrolled at a public university

Author(s): Yuri Silva Toledo Brandão | DivaniseSuruagy Correia | Maria Stella Jakeline Alves de Farias | Thallyta Maria Tavares Antunes, | Laís Alves da Silva

Journal: International Journal of Collaborative Research on Internal Medicine & Public Health
ISSN 1840-4529

Volume: 3;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 247;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Alcohol consumption | students | university | family | drug | public health

Introduction: Alcohol is the number one toxic substance by consumption among all age groups, whichmakes its use a public health problem. The overall trend shows that university students are those whopunctually suffer biggest pressure.Objective: To assess the prevalence of alcohol use among students newly enrolled at a public universityin Alagoas, Brazil.Methodology: We developed an analytical sectional study at the Federal University of Alagoas, with1435 (44% of total) newly enrolled students of all courses in 2006. They answered a questionnaire basedon the CAGE. Some points such as sex, age, marital status, course, housing, family characteristics andhow drugs fit into in the student life were studied with the resources of EpiInfo version 3.3.2. The surveywas approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the Federal University of Alagoas (number000878/2005-17).Results: Out of the group, 95.9% lived with family and 87.6% reported ever drinking alcohol at sometime in life. Of all respondents, 55.4% of men reported having habit of drinking with friends or colleagues(Odds=0.71; CI=0.58-0.88; P-value=0,00088). Among all respondents, 17.7% of male students and 9.8%females skipping class after using alcohol (Odds=0.52; CI=0.38-0.72; P-value= 0,000023).Discussion: The transition from adolescence to youth and study time at university are marked by greatervulnerability to alcohol abuse. The family is decisive for the initiation of alcohol use, and the university afactor that increases the possibility of maintaining the practice.Study Limitations: The fact that not all students were present in the classroom at the time of theapplication questionnaire may have limited the search, because this is a sectional study.Conclusion: Alcohol consumption in this university is similar to other higher education institutions in theworld, which is a cause for concern, since the external lesions are accentuated with the practice of usingalcohol, characterizing risk of violence.

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