The Risk of Drug Abuse among Preschool Students in Phuket, Thailand

  • Kusuma SWANGPUN Community Health Development Program, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand
  • Manop KANATO Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand
  • Poonrut LEYATIKUL Mail Department of Occupational Health, Faculty of Public Health, Vongchavalitkul University, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
Drug abuse risk, Prevalence, Preschool students


Background: There have been scientific studies on risk and protective factors associated with child outcomes. However, how risk factors interact to produce outcomes is not clearly understood. We assessed the association between school location, grade, and drug abuse risks among preschoolers.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 3353 participants aged 2-6 yr (mean: 4.6, SD: 1.03) enrolled in childcare centers and kindergarten classes in 2016 in Phuket, Thailand. The risk of drug abuse was measured using questionnaires, completed by teachers and caregivers. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, odds ratio with 95% confidence intervals and Chi-square.

Results: The prevalence of drug abuse risk factors was as follows: sleep problems=1.28%, aggression=1.10%, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)=3.61%, learning disabilities (LDs)=4%, family members’ substance abuse=12.53%, parents’ changing marital status=6.53%, conflict between parents/guardians=1.88%, family poverty=3.37%, and easy access to drugs in the community=5.16%. Sleep problems in children were significantly related to family members’ substance abuse, family poverty, and easy access to drugs in the community (PS<.05). LDs were significantly related to parents’ changing marital status, conflict between parents/guardians, family poverty, and easy access to drugs in the community (PS<.05). ADHD was significantly related to family members’ substance abuse, parents’ changing marital status, conflict between parents/guardians, and family poverty (PS<.05).

Conclusion: The prevalence of drug abuse risks among preschoolers was 25.86%. Multidisciplinary teams should provide appropriate interventions.



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How to Cite
SWANGPUN K, KANATO M, LEYATIKUL P. The Risk of Drug Abuse among Preschool Students in Phuket, Thailand. Iran J Public Health. 48(3):451-457.
Original Article(s)