The use of psychotropic substances has become increasingly used in people's lives,
especially among students, leading to several negative consequences of prolonged
use of these substances. Drugs are classified as illegal, where they are prohibited
from being marketed and used, such as cocaine, as well as licit drugs that may be
marketed, such as alcohol. Considering the increasing indexes of the use of
psychotropic substances, the ASSIST questionnaire, which is used in the early
identification of people who use some type of chemical daily or in the last three
months, has been elaborated by the world health organization. Therefore, it is
verified that the early detection of the user is fundamental to diagnose and program
practices aimed at health promotion aiming at the well being of the user and
The research was conducted at the Anglo College of the city of Dourados, where 50
students were interviewed using ASSIST. Inclusion criteria were: age between 16
and 50 years; agree to participate in the study and sign an informed consent form;
not having serious behavior disorders; not being treated for alcohol or other
dependencies. Participants were invited to participate in the study through a direct
approach, having obtained prior authorization from those responsible for each
service. The ASSIST questionnaire was used, which is structured with 8 questions
about the use of 9 classes of psychoactive substances (tobacco, alcohol, marijuana,
cocaine, stimulants, sedatives, inhalants, hallucinogens, and opiates). Each
response corresponds to a score, which ranges from 0 to 8, and the total sum can
vary from 0 to 39. For alcohol, the range of 0 to 10 is considered as indicative of
occasional use, 11 to 26 as indicative of risk and abuse use, and ? 27 as suggestive
of dependence. For the other drugs, the corresponding score ranges are: 0 and 3; 4
and 26 and ? 27. Patients who reach the score and who agree to be part of the
study should sign the consent to participate and receive information about the
guarantee of anonymity. After applying if the individual achieves alcohol score
below what is necessary to include it in the study (0 to 10), it will be dispensed after
receiving general information about the possible risks. When the score is above that
established for the study (27 or more), you will be alerted to referral to a specialized
drug dependency team. However, if your score is between 11 and 26, you should be
invited to participate in the study after a brief explanation of the goals.
In the present study, alcohol was the drug most used in the life of all subjects
interviewed, and in the last 20 days about 98% consumed the drug. Tobacco was
the second most used drug among patients (65%) and for the other drugs
addressed in the questionnaire there was no score. A multiple comparison analysis
(ANOVA) for the variable total score in the ASSIST, considering as factors the
genders (Male and Female), detected a higher score for alcohol when compared to
tobacco and marijuana for both genders, male and female, (2.94) = 0.96, p <0.01,
for both).
Figura 1. Comparison between the
averages of the total score obtained by the
ASSIST instrument in the interview with high
school students - Averages ± SD of the total
scores obtained by the ASSIST instrument for
ethanol, tobacco, and marijuana after the
interview for males and females (n = 49). *
differs from ethanol for females; # differs
from ethanol for the genus males (two-way
ANOVA followed by the Tukey's test, p?0.05).
Figura 2. A Spearman correlation analysis
performed for the ethanol and tobacco
scores showed a strongly positive correlation
(r = 0.70) between the consumption of both
drugs, demonstrating that the higher the
alcohol score, the higher was the tobacco
The use of drugs among young people has caused several damages in the
functioning of the organism and in the development of several activities. The
consumption of such drugs has spread rapidly especially among young people,
causing them to have contact with this drug as a teenager increasing their chances
of becoming a chemical dependent. Among young people, alcohol is the drug most
consumed early, among other reasons, because it is a drug that is easily accessible
and affordable. People who drink too much alcohol tend to develop severe
abstinence, which is accompanied by characteristic signs and symptoms, such as
tremors, nervousness, fatigue, mood changes, nausea, tachycardia, and
hallucinations. The greater use of the man in relation to the woman is attributed
due to the peculiarities of the behavior in relation to the use, this because the man
is more prone to the early intake of substances. The consumption of alcohol and
tobacco products are licit drugs, where they are easily marketed and can contribute
to the high rate of use. Thus, many young people start using drugs very early,
contributing to the chemical dependency framework, which should be treated as a
public health problem, seeking appropriate forms of treatment to reduce or
extinguish the use of these substances. Thus, the use of the questionnaire can
serve as a form of prevention of drug abuse, seeking to reduce the high rate of use.



ECKSCHMIDT, F; ANDRADE, A.G; OLIVEIRA, L.G. Comparison of the use of drugs

among university students: Brazilians, Americans and young people of the

Brazilian general population. J. Bras. Psychiatr. Sao Paulo. 2013.FEELDMAN, L. et al.

Alcohol use beliefs and behaviors: among high school students. Journal of

adolescent health, New York, 1999.

GOMES, K. V. Chemical dependence in women: illustrations of a shared

symptom. São Paulo, 2010.

MARKOWITZ, S. et al. Alcohol abuse and suicide attempts among youth. 2004.

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO). Neurosciences: consumption and

dependence of psychoactive substances: summary. Geneva, 2004.