Gender-Specific Substance Use Patterns and Associations with Individual, Family, Peer, and School Factors in 15-Year-Old Portuguese Adolescents: A Latent Class Regression Analysis


Adolescence is a critical period of vulnerability to substance use. Recent research has shown that gender differences in adolescence substance use are complex and in constant flux. The present study aims to investigate gender differences in substance use and initiation patterns in male and female adolescents, and to assess individual, family, peer, and school associated factors of these patterns.


We applied latent class regression analysis to a Portuguese representative population sample of 1551 15-year-old adolescents, drawn from the 2010 ‘Health Behavior in School-Aged Children’ survey, to characterise different profiles of substance use and initiation for boys and girls, and to identify factors associated with latent class membership, stratifying the associations analysis by gender.


Three common classes were found for both genders, specifically, Non-Users(boys [B] 34.42%, girls [G] 26.79%), Alcohol Experimenters (B 38.79%, G 43.98%) and Alcohol and Tobacco Frequent Users (B 21.31%, G 10.36%), with two additional unique classes: Alcohol Experimenters and Tobacco Users in girls (18.87%), and Early Initiation and Poly-Substance Users in boys (5.48%). Poor school satisfaction, bullying, fighting and higher family affluence scale score formed a common core of associated factors of substance use, although we found gender differences in these associations. In girls, but not in boys, family factors were associated with more problematic substance use. Not living with both parents was associated with girl’s Alcohol and Tobacco Frequent Users(gATFU) class (OR 3.78 CI 1.18–12.11) and Alcohol Experimenters and Tobacco Users (AETU) class (OR 3.22 CI 1.4–7.44). Poor communication with mother was also associated with gATFU class membership (OR 3.82 CI 1.26–11.53) and AETU class (OR 3.66 CI 1.99–6.75). Additionally, a higher psychological symptoms score was associated with gATFU class membership (OR 1.16 CI 1.02–1.31).


Although we found common patterns and associated factors between boys and girls, we report two unique patterns of substance use in boys and girls and specific associations between family, school and peers, and individual factors with these patterns. These findings underscore the need for substance use prevention and health promotion programmes that address potential differences in substance use patterns and associated factors.

Priorities for UNODC Work on Drug Prevention and Treatment in Southeastern Europe

The programme of work of UNODC in any region of the world is developed in a consultative process together with the concerned Member States. That is why UNODC organised a Regional Consultative Meeting on the Development of the Sub-Programme 3 “Drug use prevention and treatment of substance use disorders” held on 16-17 May 2019 in Skopje, North Macedonia. The workshop brought together more than 30 experts and policy makers from the countries of Southeastern Europe  who jointly worked to identify priorities for the new UNODC regional programme  2020-2023. Priorities related to the prevention of substance use, drug use and other risky behaviours, as well as the provision of treatment, health care, social protection and rehabilitation services for people with drug use disorders, in the context of an approach to addressing the world drug problem that is based on science, ethical concerns and addressing gender and socio-economic inequalities.

Follow us on Twitter: @UNODC_PTRS

Experts and policy makers from Southeastern European countries together with UNODC staff

Webinar: Alcohol Related Liver Damage

Event Date

Public Health England will be hosting a webinar to discuss their work to reduce alcohol harm and the latest evidence and best practice examples for improving liver health at 14:00 on 20 May.

Email AlcoholCapitalFund [at] phe [dot] gov [dot] uk if you'd like to attend.

Gender and Alcohol Infographics

Based on recent research, Glasgow Caledonian University, Strathclyde University, SHAAP and Glasgow Centre for Population Health, have produced infographics to tackle stereotypes about men, women and drinking in Scotland.

The infographics highlight the role of societal norms, the media and the alcohol industry in perpetuating these stereotypes and call on policymakers, researchers and alcohol services to monitor and report outcomes by gender. 

Socioeconomic Inequalities in the Delivery of Brief Interventions for Smoking and Excessive Drinking: Findings from a Cross-Sectional Household Survey in England


Objectives: Brief interventions (BI) for smoking and risky drinking are effective and cost-effective policy approaches to reducing alcohol harm currently used in primary care in England; however, little is known about their contribution to health inequalities. This paper aims to investigate whether self-reported receipt of BI is associated with socioeconomic position (SEP) and whether this differs for smoking or alcohol.

Design: Population survey of 8978 smokers or risky drinkers in England aged 16+ taking part in the Alcohol and Smoking Toolkit Studies.

Measures: Survey participants answered questions regarding whether they had received advice and support to cut down their drinking or smoking from a primary healthcare professional in the past 12 months as well as their SEP, demographic details, whether they smoke and their motivation to cut down their smoking and/or drinking. Respondents also completed the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Smokers were defined as those reporting any smoking in the past year. Risky drinkers were defined as those scoring eight or more on the AUDIT.

Results: After adjusting for demographic factors and patterns in smoking and drinking, BI delivery was highest in lower socioeconomic groups. Smokers in the lowest social grade had 30% (95% CI 5% to 61%) greater odds of reporting receipt of a BI than those in the highest grade. The relationship for risky drinking appeared stronger, with those in the lowest social grade having 111% (95% CI 27% to 252%) greater odds of reporting BI receipt than the highest grade. Rates of BI delivery were eight times greater among smokers than risky drinkers (48.3% vs 6.1%).

Conclusions: Current delivery of BI for smoking and drinking in primary care in England may be contributing to a reduction in socioeconomic inequalities in health. This effect could be increased if intervention rates, particularly for drinking, were raised.

Digital Marketing in the Spotlight

Event Date

The Digital Marketing in the Spotlight conference is organised by EUCAM, EUROCARE and the Amsterdam Centre for Health Communication (ECHC) and will take place on the 19th of September in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The event will open up a conversation about the impact of digital marketing on the drinking behaviour of young people and ways it can be regulated.

Maximilian von Heyden

Von vielen längst totgeglaubte Konzepte bedrohen derzeit das erreichte Niveau an Qualität in der Suchtprävention. In den letzten Jahren hatte die Diskussion um Qualitätsstandards und Wirksamkeit in der Prävention viele Fortschritte gemacht.

From : - To:
09:30 am
04:30 pm
Landespräventionsrat Niedersachsen, Siebstraße 4, Hannover Germany

Fifth Contemporary Drug Problems Conference

Event Date

Fifth Contemporary Drug Problems Conference will be held from the 4th to the 6th September 2019 at the Monash University Prato Centre in Prato, Italy, near Florence. 

The theme of the event is Rethinking ‘Change’: New Theories, New Topics, New Questions, New Methods.

The program will feature a mix of keynote presentations and will bring together leading international researchers in drug use and addiction studies from a range of research disciplines and methods – both qualitative and quantitative.

STAD in Europe Manual

Binge drinking or heavy episodic drinking has a great impact on public safety and health.

In 2016 the STAD in Europe project (SiE) was launched. SiE is a European collaboration of 7 countries aiming to develop more knowledge on effective strategies to reduce binge drinking by limiting the availability of alcohol. STAD is a community approach and is based on the plan, do, study, act-cycle. This manual gives useful and practical information for all people willing to initiate and implement the STAD approach in their community.

The publication outlines the development of the programme. It offers a guide on how to conduct a needs assessment and start working with the STAD approach in your community. Finally, it gives advice on how to effectively and ethically monitor the progress of the programme within your community.

Research Survey: Enhancing Drug Treatment for Migrants and Ethnic Minorities

Dear European expert in migrant (mental) health/wellbeing or drug treatment,

This is a request to share your work in a European report.

MATREMI (mapping & enhancing drug treatment for migrants and ethnic minorities) is a research project funded by the Belgian Science Policy office and one of its aims could be relevant to your own professional context:

Mapping European promising practices aimed at increasing reach and retention of and accessibility for migrants and ethnic minorities in European drug treatment in an English report (goal 2)

Can you please fill out or forward the 12-minute survey about promising practices in or aimed at (drug)treatment for migrants and ethnic minorities in your national context. These practices should not necessarily be located in drug treatment but can also take place in broader (mental) health domains.

The survey will be open until the 23rd of April. You can click the link above to access the survey.

The research team will provide respondents with the full report with survey results by December 2019 at the latest. Please contact charlotte [dot] dekock [at] ugent [dot] be for further questions concerning the survey or the research project.


Our sincere thanks for taking the time for this survey,

Warm regards,

Charlotte De Kock, Prof. Dr. Tom Decorte

On behalf of the MATREMI research team

charlotte [dot] dekock [at] ugent [dot] be

Invitation to Conduct Research

The Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Drug and Alcohol Task Force, in conjunction with Southside Partnership and Dublin Rathdown Community Addiction Team, invites submissions from suitably qualified parties to conduct a research project to commence during 2019.

Study summary: an investigation of current patterns of use and misuse of alcohol and drugs in Dun Laoghaire / Rathdown (DLR) among vulnerable young people aged between 16-24 years.

Region: South Dublin

Closing date: 10/05/19

Ahmad Shah

16 x 16’ is a new global initiative, supported by the Government of Italy, as part of UNDP’s Youth Global Programme for Sustainable Development and Peace (Youth-GPS), to recognize and support 16 youth-led organisations, movements or networks that promote Sustainable Development Goal 16 (

Calling Students- UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships

The UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship scheme (FLF) aims to support early career researchers and innovators with outstanding potential based in UK universities, registered businesses, and other research and user organisations.

It is hoped that the support provided will enable the fellow to establish their research and/or innovation independence.

The scheme, which is designed to tackle difficult and novel challenges, provides up to seven years of funding, for at least 550 early-career researchers and innovators

The call for applications for the third round of fellowships is now open.
The deadline for full proposals is 30 May 2019. The mandatory outline stage closes on 2 May 2019.

Better Prevention of Drug Use, Healthy and Safe Development of Children in Belarus

UNODC had the honour of facilitating a seminar for policy makers in Belarus at the request of the Ministry of Interior of the country.  The event was organised with the support of the UN Resident Coordinator and the contribution of UNAIDS, UNFPA and UNICEF. More than 40 policy makers, including representatives from the Ministry of Education, Information and Health, as well as CSOs were present at the training. Participants worked together over three days to discuss how to improve the national system for the prevention of drug use and other risky behaviours on the basis of the UNODC/WHO Second Updated Edition of the International Standards on Drug Use Prevention. In its session about national systems that are supportive of evidence-based prevention, the seminar highlighted ISSUP, as well as UPC as a crucial resource at the disposal of Member States, policy makers and practitioners. Evidence-based prevention means supporting the healthy and safe development of children: learn more at and follow us on Twitter @unodc_ptrs.

The Results of the WHO-UNODC Substance Use Disorder Treatment Facility Survey in Serbia

In collaboration with the Ministry of Health of the Government of Serbia, UNODC supported the implementation of the UNODC/WHO substance use disorder treatment facility survey to map existing treatment capacity. The results of the survey serve national policy makers to enhance the availability and quality of services across the country.
This is the first global pilot of the UNODC/WHO survey tool and the first in the country with such an implementation methodology and such an extensive coverage (75% of national treatment facilities reached). The treatment facility survey was acknowledged by the Serbian Government as a as critical tool for comparative analysis in view of monitoring substance use trends and available treatment resources in different regions and different modalities. It has now become part of the recurring national drug use disorder treatment assessment plan.
Following the successful realization of this survey, results are further promoted as part of a joint publication with EMCDDA: Drug treatment systems in the Western Balkans, which aims at highlighting the achievements and challenges of drug treatment systems in the region.

Ahmad Shah

South East Asian Fellowship Program on Drug Policy 2019

Submitted by Avinash Tharoor on Wed, 03/04/2019 - 15:12



Ahmad Shah

Drug abuse affects all societies worldwide, but the impact differs in male and female. Women and girls comprise ⅓ of global drug users yet are only ⅕ of those receiving treatment.