Alcohol use among medicine and law students in Poland

  • Wiktor Suchy Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland
  • Agnieszka Gaczkowska Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland
  • Adam Pawelczyk Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland
  • Piotr Pukacki Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland
  • Robert Chudzik Medical University of Lublin, Poland
Keywords: drugs, addiction, hazardous drinking, marijuana

Abstract

Introduction. Alcohol, together with drug use such as marijuana, is a major health concern that may influence the life of both doctors and medicine students. It is therefore important to investigate their habits associated with those hazardous behaviors.Material and methods. A voluntary survey containing 12 questions regarding their drinking habits and marijuana use was sent to law and medicine students from two cities in Poland, Poznan and Lublin. 814 responses were collected and the results were compiled using STATISTICA 10 program.Results. Mean age of alcohol initiation was revealed to be very similar in all groups at below 16 years of age. Although majority of students drink less than once a week (41% male and 65.7% female), men were found to use alcohol much more frequently and in higher quantities than female students. Half of future doctors would stop at the lowest stage on a proposed alcohol intoxication scale, while 11.6% would venture to the highest, third one. Those values for law students were 36.2% and 26%, respectively. 70% of men and 52.9% of women have tried marijuana. Majority of them smoke less than once a month, but almost a quarter of law students and 15% of medicine students do it at least once a month.Conclusions. More emphasis should be put on educating future doctors and general public about dangers associated with hazardous drinking and cannabis use. Prevention of such behaviors should be conducted at an age as young as possible.