ALCOHOL USE AND ASSOCIATED RISK BEHAVIORS AMONG ADOLESCENTS IN NORTHERN THAILAND
Nonglak Boonchooduang, Orawan Louthrenoo, Chawanun Charnsil, Atsawin Narkpongphun
Objectives: Alcohol use in adolescents is one of the major health problems in many countries.Understanding the extent of the problem andrelated health risk behaviors is necessary to help prevent the associated behaviors andprovide appropriate intervention. This study aimed to identify alcohol use in adolescents and its correlation with others health risk behaviors. Methods: A total of 4372 participants, aged 13-18 years old were enrolled. The data were collected using a two-stage stratified cluster sampling methods from secondary and vocational schools. A web-based questionnaire using the Thai Youth Risk Behavior Survey, modified from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, was administered. Results: The prevalence of lifetime alcohol exposure was 28.32%, of which 815 participants (18.64%) reported current alcohol use. Adolescents with older age (odds ratio, OR=4.93, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 4.15-5.87), male gender (OR = 2.63, 95% CI = 2.23-3.09), and attendance at vocational schools (OR=7.87, 95% CI = 6.66-9.31) were associated with current alcohol use.When adjusted for confounding variables, health risk behaviors including interpersonal violence, cyber bullying, risky sexual behaviors, tobacco and marijuana use, and suicidal behaviors were associated with current alcohol use from the multiple logistic regression (p<0.001). Conclusions: This study shows that a number of adolescents in Northern Thailand are currently using alcohol, and this can influence other health risk behaviors. Efforts to prevent and control alcohol use needs to focus on high-risk groups and among those currently using alcohol.