Environmental, non-specific factors affecting legal and illegal drug consumption
The threat of psychotropic substances has been rising significantly in Hungary. Serious health problems arise not only from illicit drug use but also from tobacco and alcohol consumption. Although genetic predisposition determines the progress from recreational use to addiction, environmental factors are equally important. To find the best way of intervention, environmental factors should be taken into account. We studied the effect of environmental and demographic factors on illicit and legal drug consumption in a population reached via homepages and social media sites, using a questionnaire, filled out mainly by students and also reaching their relatives and acquaintances. Cannabis was the most frequently used illicit drug, and the usage of legal and illicit drugs correlated. Anti-smoking campaigns had not yet diminished the number of smokers, who were equally present in each age group, among wealthy and poor, both in rural or urban areas. Alcohol consumption was independent of wealth but not of the place of residence or education level, while drug consumption corresponded with the place of residence. Alcohol and drug, especially cannabis consumption are higher in urban than in rural areas. The majority of those who never tried them are just above the poverty line or have an average income. In conclusion, to increase the effectiveness of prevention programs the focus of National Anti-Drug Strategy 2013-20, should be broadened to include problems of both illicit and legal drug uses equally in different socioeconomic environments.
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