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Pattern of substance and drug misuse among youth in Malaysia

Mohamed, Mahmood Nazar and Marican, Sabitha and Elias, Nadiyah and Don, Yahya (2008) Pattern of substance and drug misuse among youth in Malaysia. Journal Antidadah Malaysia, 3&4. pp. 1-56. ISSN 1985-1707

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Substance and drug use, misuse and abuse among adolescents and youth has been observed to be on the increasing trend. In Malaysia, there has not much investigation done to study this trend, therefore one has to rely on other sources to formulate prevention program for the youth population. The objective of this study is to identify patterns related to the use of licit and illicit substances among youth such as demographic (gender, ethnic, age), schooling (form or level, type of school, educational aspiration, prefect status, and disciplinary problems at school), dwellings, (location, type and the presence of recreational facilities) and familial/ factors (parental status, income, living arrangement, presence of relatives who smoke, consume alcohol or/and drugs). A cross-sectional survey was conducted in the northern states of peninsular Malaysia, specifically Kedah, Perlis and Pulau Pinang which sampled respondents from secondary two, four and six students from all types of school going youth (Government schools, Private schools, Sekolah Agama Rakyat (SAR) and Pondok schools) and those not in schools (drop outs). The study also includes the rest of 11 states from all other parts of the country consisting only of government schools youth. A questionnaire comprising the Substance and Drug Misuse Index (SDMI) and demographics is used to collect data from the respondents, and this is complimented with site interviews with headmasters, teachers, student leaders and the community surrounding the schools. There were a total of 7,152 respondents in the study, 54.3% females and 45.7% males. The ethnic distribution was 72% Malays, 5.8% Indians, and 17.8% Chinese. The Substance and Drug Misuse Index (SDMI) is the main information that compares the level substance and drug use with a range of scores between zero (i.e. never tried any substances to a maximum of 54, who tried all substances listed on the index and often used these substances all the time). More than three quarters of respondents scored zero (77.3%), reported never use any of the listed substances. The highest score is 29. The mean score for Malaysia is 0.85. The scores are calculated for each state, and the highest score is 1.74 for Sarawak followed by Perlis at 1.14. Other states such as Kedah, Johor and Kelantan have scores higher then the Malaysian average. When comparing with demographic data, male respondents showed a higher tendency for substance and drug misuse compared to female respondents. There is no significant difference in the level of substance and drug misuse between Malay and non Malay respondents. Also, a significant relationship and difference are observed between age of respondent, type of school, disciplinary problems at school type of living arrangements, smoking, alcohol use and substance misuse by relatives and the level of substance and drug misuse. Implications for prevention programs for youth are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: College of Arts and Sciences
Depositing User: Prof. Dr. Mahmood Nazar Mohamed
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2012 12:55
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2012 12:55

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