Patterns and Correlates of Substance Use Among University Students in Iran


Ali Talaei 1 , * , Naghmeh Mokhber 2 , Mohammad Reza Fayyazi Bordbar 2 , Arash Javanbakh 2 , Ali Akbar Samari 3

1 Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Ibn-e-Sina Psychiatric Hospital, Bu-Ali Sq, Amel Blv, PC: 9195983134, Mashhad, Iran

2 Department of Psychiatry, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Educational member of Azad University, Kashmar, Iran

How to Cite: Talaei A, Mokhber N, Fayyazi Bordbar M R, Javanbakh A, Samari A A. Patterns and Correlates of Substance Use Among University Students in Iran, Iran J Psychiatry Behav Sci. 2008 ; 2(2):15-22.


Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences: 2 (2); 15-22
Published Online: July 05, 2008
Article Type: Original Article
Received: May 09, 2007
Accepted: June 05, 2007


Objective: Substance use, especially among young generation, is a public health concern. The aim of the current study was to explore the interrelation between certain variables including demographic characteristics and family history of drug abuse and history of depression among Iranian University students.

Methods: In a cross-sectional study, 843 college students of the Azad University of Torbat Jaam (Khorasan province) completed a questionnaire containing data on demographic characteristics, lifelong and past month history of substance use, family history of substance use and different types of substance used by students. Participants also completed the Beck Depression Inventory.

Results: 57.5% of those who took part in the study were male. 30.7% of the participants revealed a lifetime history of substance use (209 males and 55 females). Use of alcohol, cigarette, cannabis, and opium was significantly higher among men. 14.9% of participants had used substances in the past month and 15.1% in the last year. Cigarette was the most commonly used substance (19.2%). The second and third most commonly used substances were opium (15.4%) and alcohol (10.8%). Beck Depression Inventory score was significantly higher among students with a history of substance use (p=0.000).

Conclusion: Substance use was commonly reported by the university students. This was significantly associated with a diagnosis of depression.



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