Habits Of Unhealthy Life In Young People: Drug Use In Students


One area of great relevance at present is dedicated to healthy and unhealthy habits in young people. A large variety of research studies one of the unhealthy lifestyle habits: drug use. Recent studies show that an abusive and daily consumption of drugs is closely related to certain psychopathologies. The objective of this research is to study the consumption of drugs (tobacco, alcohol, hashish, cocaine and other drugs) in students of the city of Badajoz. A sample of 1804 young people who study 3º E.S.O., 4º E.S.O., 1º and 2º of Baccalaureate were applied the questionnaire STUDIES of the PNSD. The results show that a high percentage consume tobacco (22.9%) and alcohol (53.1%) and a considerable percentage hashish (19.9%) being the age of early onset. In conclusion, a considerable percentage of our young students consume tobacco, alcohol, hashish and considering the age of consumption being so early. Therefore, an early intervention in this area is necessary.

Keywords: Drugstudent habits


This research study is about drug use in young people; something of great relevance at present. Our main objective is to highlight the current situation of consumption in this population group.

For two decades now, it has been known that unhealthy behavior and habits do not occur in isolation, but rather make up real patterns or lifestyles that pose a threat to physical and mental well-being, and seriously compromise development at a critical stage of life. Life as is adolescence (Mendoza, Sagrera, & Batista-Foguet, 1994; Moreno, Muñoz-Tinoco, Pérez, & Sánchez-Queijo, 2005; Rodrigo et al., 2004).

The consumption of drugs is in any case dangerous, bear in mind that all of them can cause serious health, psychological, social and family problems.

Of all the possible analyzes that the conflictive world of drugs offers, the most alarming is the one referred to the consumption of such substances in childhood and adolescence. The main problems due to consume drugs are considerably worse in these ages, key stages in the integral development of the individual that can be altered and even interrupted by the systematic use of them.

In the contemporary recreational youth culture, various recreational modalities of experimentation with psychoactive substances are being extended on weekends. In such practices drunkenness tends to be the purpose of consumption associated with the fracture experienced in leisure time and in the sphere of leisure (Elzo, 2000). Recreational uses of drugs linked to changes in the functionality of night-time fun and the search for over-stimulation are being extended (Bellis and Hughes, 2003; Calafat et al., 2000). Studies have provided evidence that juvenile use of psychoactive substances responds to a multidetermined behavioral pattern, where variables such as attitudes, search for sensations, psychosocial identity crises, group imperatives and other factors are integrated (Carballo et al, 2004).

In Spain according to the EDADES report, the consumption of tobacco has decreased due to the perception of risk, consumption of alcohol is still very high; consumption of substances such as cannabis has stabilized, but it is alert to the increase of habitual consumers.

The problems related to drug use affect the whole society in one way or another. In Spain, one million families suffer from the consequences of drugs or alcohol abuse. Every year more than 20,000 people die prematurely as a result of excessive alcohol consumption. Every year more than 4,000 people enter Spanish hospitals due to psychosis caused by alcohol and other drugs. Many young people see their lives truncated by initiating the use of cannabis, or other addictive substances. School failure, family problems, work problems, personal and social destructuring, delinquency, are some of the negative consequences of drug use. For all these reasons, the prevention of drug consumption and the associated damages is one of the Government's priorities.

Many are the investigations in Spain and outside of it carried out on the subject of drug addiction. Many are the investigations in Spain and outside of it carried out in the subject of the drug addiction; Some of them refer to drug use in young people, risk factors and protection against consumption. We highlight the work of the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), CONACE, European Network of Professionals with intervention in Drug Addiction, European Monitoring Center for Drug Addiction, European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drugs Addiction In Spain, we must highlight the work of the Government Delegation for the National Plan on Drugs, the FAD, Spanish society of drug addiction, socidrogalcohol (Spanish Scientific Society of Studies on Alcohol, drug addiction and other dependencies), the INIFD (National Research and Training Institute on Drugs), Miguel Hernández de Elche and Deusto University of Bilbao, University of Oviedo, University of Santiago de Compostela, the research group on addictive behaviors (Hermida, Secades, Carballo, etc); Foundation to live without drugs, fundesalud, FEXAD (Extremeña Federation of Attention to Drug Addicts), CEDEX, and a long etc In Extremadura, in particular, highlight the work of the Technical Secretariat of Drug Addiction.

According to the PNSD as in previous years, in 2018 the drugs most consumed by Secondary Education students from 14 to 18 years have been alcohol, tobacco and cannabis.

Problem Statement

Our research work is part of one of the most important stages of the life cycle: adolescence, a key stage in the development of the person. Currently our theme, drug use, has special relevance and much research is done on the subject. An important issue is its impact on physical, psychological and social health.

Purpose of the Study

In this study we examine a real problem, drug use in young people

The objective that we intend to achieve is the following: to know the current situation of drug use (tobacco, alcohol and hashish) in young people.

The hypothesis raised: A considerable percentage of our youth consume drugs.

Research Methods

The present investigation is based on the hypothetic-deductive method. We have carried out an investigation using the quantitative method per survey. The design is transversal. The reference population are young students of 3º E.S.O., 4º E.S.O., 1º Baccalaureate and 2º Baccalaureate of the city of Badajoz (Extremadura).

The selected sample is composed of 1805 young people (897 men and 908 women) between 14 and 20 years old, who study 3º E.S.O., 4º E.S.O., 1º Baccalaureate and 2º Baccalaureate in centers of the city of Badajoz, in particular 10 centers. The method of sample selection was randomized. The questionnaires were applied to all the students of the 10 schools chosen with a view to have all the zones and all socio-economic levels of the city represented.

The instrument used was a Risk behavior questionnaire: drug use: questionnaire adapted from that used in the State Survey on Drug Use in Secondary Education Students of the National Plan on Drugs of the National Plan on Drugs.


As far as tobacco is concerned, we highlight that a considerable percentage have smoked tobacco in the last month; specifically, 413 subjects, representing 22.9% of our sample (Table 1 ). Of these 413 subjects, 47% daily (Table 2 ). We are also interested in the average number of cigarettes smoked per day, the data shows that the average is found in 4, 68 cigarettes, that is, approximately 5 cigarettes a day The age of onset is around 13-14 years, specifically the average is 13, 68 years.

Table 1 -
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Table 2 -
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The subsequent questions refer to alcohol consumption, 959 subjects representing 53.1% of our youth have consumed alcoholic beverages in the last month (Table 1 ); the average number of days that they have consumed this type of drinks has been 3.01 (Table 3 ), that is, approximately 3 days. The age of onset in alcohol consumption is 13, 79 years (Table 4 ), between 13 and 14 years. 41.9% said they had been drunk last month (Table 1 ). In 1 case that have been drunk for 20 or more days (Table 5 ); something worrisome in terms of health. The average age at which they got drunk for the first time is 14.26 years.

Table 3 -
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Table 4 -
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Table 5 -
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Hashish: 19.9% have used hashish at some time in life (Table 1 ); of those 360 cases of consumption316 have consumed it in the last year and 191 in the last month; The age of onset of the use of said substance is 15.09 years.A striking and worrisome fact is the habitual consumption of hashish, in our sample we have 22 cases of daily consumption of this substance (Table 6 ).

Table 6 -
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In conclusion, a considerable percentage of our young students consume tobacco, alcohol, hashish and, considering the age of consumption being so early, we must warn that any consumption is important. We are talking about adolescents who are in full development and the incidence that this consumption has on cognitive development is worrying.

A lot of work is being done in this area, but it is not enough. A broad line of research is open in this area, focused primarily on prevention of such consumption.


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  2. Calafat, A., Juan, M., Becoña, E., Fernández, C., Gil, E., Palmer, A., & Torres, M. A. (2000). Salir de marcha y consumo de drogas. Madrid: Plan Nacional sobre Drogas.
  3. Carballo, J. L. C., Rodríguez, O. G., Villa, R. S., Hermida, J. R. F., Cueto, E. G., Pérez, J. M. E., & Díaz, S. A. H. (2004). Construcción y validación de un cuestionario de factores de riesgo interpersonales para el consumo de drogas en la adolescencia. Psicothema, 16(4), 674-679.
  4. Elzo, J. (2000). La cultura de las drogas en los jóvenes: ritos y fiestas. Bilbao: Universidad de Deusto.
  5. Mendoza, R., Sagrera, M.R., & Batista-Foguet, J.M. (1994). Behaviors of Spanish schoolchildren related to health (1986-1990). Madrid: CSIC.
  6. Moreno, C., Muñoz-Tinoco, M.V., Pérez, P., & Sánchez-Queijo, I. (2005). Spanish teenagers and their health. An analysis in boys and girls from 11 to 17 years old. Madrid: Ministry of Health and Consumption.
  7. Rodrigo, M.J., Maiquez, M. L., García, M., Mendoza, R. Rubio, A., Martínez, A., & Matín-Quintana, J. (2004). Parent-child relationships and lifestyles in adolescence. Psicothema, 16, 203-210.

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09 April 2019

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Multicultural education, education, personal health, public health, social discrimination,social inequality

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Galván, E. L. (2019). Habits Of Unhealthy Life In Young People: Drug Use In Students. In E. Soriano, C. Sleeter, M. Antonia Casanova, R. M. Zapata, & V. C. Cala (Eds.), The Value of Education and Health for a Global, Transcultural World, vol 60. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 237-242). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.04.02.30