Association between drug consumption and depression among high school students

Graciela Rojas, Jorge Gaete, Viviana Guajardo, Vania Martínez, Sergio Barroihlet, Juan Meneses, Rosemarie Fritsch, Ricardo Araya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: The presence of emotional problems may trigger drug abuse. Aim: To determine the association between illicit drug use and severity of depression symptoms among students of public secondary schools in Santiago, Chile. Material and Methods: A probabilistic sample of 2,597 adolescents aged between 12 and 18 years (45% women), attending first year in public high-schools in Santiago, answered self-report questionnaires about consumption, during the last 30 days, of alcohol, tobacco and marihuana, and the Beck Depression Inventory - II. Logistic regression models were used to study the association between drug use and severity of depression symptoms, adjusting by sex. Results: Tobacco and marihuana use was reported by 38 and 13% of students, respectively. Frequency of consumption was significantly higher among women. Mild, moderate or severe depressive symptoms were found among 16%, 14% and 9% of students, respectively. Depressive symptoms were more common among women. There was a significant association between drug use and severity of depression among participants of both genders. Conclusions: The association between depressive symptoms and drug use should be considered on the design of treatment guidelines for these health problems in Chile.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)184-191
Number of pages8
JournalRevista Medica de Chile
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol
  • Depression
  • Street drugs

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