The objectives of this research were to assess the prevalence of substance use among Dutch dental students and to determine their attitudes about substance use and its consequences.
METHODS: In association with a national study of drug use among US dental students, a questionnaire was translated from English into Dutch and administered to dental students at two dental schools in The Netherlands. Students received an anonymous 115-item questionnaire in the fall of 1996.
RESULTS: Alcohol was the students’ drug of choice for
- lifetime (95%),
- past year (94%) and
- past month (88%) use.
No significant correlations were found between alcohol use and gender, schools, and years in dental education.
In the past month,
- 58% of students reported drinking on 5 or more days;
- 53% had 5 or more drinks on the same occasion,
- 20% had 5 or more drinks on the same occasion on 5 or more days; and
- 17% reported getting drunk at least monthly.
Prevalence rates for past month use of tobacco was 24% and marijuana, 4%.
Male students smoked twice as much as females, with significant differences found for all three periods of use (X2>19.00, P<0.01).
When asked whether their schools offered policies and education programs on alcohol and other drugs, 52% of students reported that these were not available.
CONCLUSIONS: Dental schools should develop effective programmes to educate students about responsible use of alcohol and other licit and illicit drugs. Schools should also inform students about their susceptibilities to substance abuse and dependency.
Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2001 Feb;29(1):48-54. Substance use among Dutch dental students. Plasschaert AJ, Hoogstraten J, van Emmerik BJ, Webster DB, Clayton RR.
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