Prevalence of psychoactive substance use, risk factors and investigation of attitudes towards substance use among adult population in TRNC, 2003-2017

Alpha Psychiatry 2019; 20: 277-286
DOI: 10.5455/apd.4372
Read: 620 Published: 29 December 2020

Objective: Present study compares the results of research on substance use prevalence in the TRNC in 2017 with the data of 2003, 2008, 2013 and 2015 researches, and examined the current attitudes towards substance use in the TRNC. Methods: The universe of this study consists of individuals aged 18-65 years living in the TRNC. The sample of 1000 people was determined by stratified random sampling method considering the age, sex and geographical region quotations. The data was collected in May and June 2017. The study's questionnaire was conducted by the Council of Europe's ‘Model Europe Survey’ and the ‘Attitude Scale for Individuals Who Use Addictive Substances’. Substance use prevalence data are given in comparison with the surveys conducted in 2003 (825 people), 2008 (804 people), 2013 (1040 people) and 2015 (994 people) using the same questionnaire. Findings: The rate of smoking at least once in life was 60.9%, the frequency of alcohol use was 63.5%, the rate of use of any other psychoactive substance (OPD) was 14.9% and the rate of illegal substance use was 11.7%. Cannabis and synthetic cannabinoid are the most commonly used illegal substances. Being male, being young, being born in Turkey, living alone, finding religious insignificant, use of alcohol-tobacco and being drunk have been identified as risk factors for the use illegal substances. Individuals who do not use substance have been found to be hesitant to communicate, live together or establish friendship with substance users and found to perceive substance users as dangerous. Conclusions: The results of the study show that the use of illegal substances is an important problem that increased rapidly in the TRNC between 2003 and 2017. As a result of the study, it was revealed that the positive and negative attitudes towards substance use should be taken into account when preparing preventive programs. (Anatolian Journal of Psychiatry 2019; 20(3):277-286)
Keywords: psychoactive substance use, prevalence, risk factors, attitude

EISSN 2757-8038