This study investigates risk and protective factors for substance abuse in a sample of 1778 students attending technical colleges in Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima provinces of Thailand using a self-report questionnaire modified from the Communities That Care youth survey. Low school commitment was strongly associated with illicit drug use, with adjusted odds ratios ranging from 2.84 (glue sniffing) to 10.06 (ecstasy). Having friends using drugs, and friends with delinquent behaviors increased the risk of using alcohol and illegal drugs, with adjusted odds ratios of 6.84 and 6.72 respectively for marijuana use. For protective factors, approximately 40-60% of students with high levels of moral belief, participation in religious activities, and social skills were less likely to use alcohol. It is concluded that peer influence is a significant contributor to Thai adolescents' participation in substance abuse and that engaging in religiosity may assist adolescents to internalize negative aspects of harmful drugs into positive perceptions and encourage them to avoid alcohol and illegal drugs.
- Illicit drugs
- Technical colleges