Types of polydrug use among Spanish adolescents

Sílvia Font-Mayolas, Maria Eugènia Gras, Natàlia Cebrián, Anna Salamó, Montserrat Planes, Mark J M Sullman

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28 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This study examined the types of polydrug use among Spanish adolescents. Method: 1501 high school students (50.6% female) aged 12 to 17. years old (mean age = 14.03, SD = 1.28), from public schools in the city of Girona (Catalonia, Spain), completed the survey. Results: In the previous six months 20.9% of the Spanish adolescents used alcohol, 18.8% tobacco, 10.5% cannabis and 0.7% cocaine. Specifically, 28.6% of the sample (n = 429; 29% males and 28.2% females) used at least one drug and 13.9% reported polydrug use (n = 208; 12.6% males and 15.1% females). The present research also found that the most critical ages for starting polydrug use were 14 and 15. years old. More than one quarter (27.9%) of the adolescent polydrug users were type A (tobacco and alcohol), 67.8% were type B (cannabis together with tobacco and/or alcohol) and 3.4% were type C (cannabis together with tobacco and/or alcohol, and cocaine). Conclusions: These results suggest that Spanish adolescents, particularly males, commence polydrug use at an earlier age than other European adolescents. Early preventative strategies and a multisubstance perspective are greatly needed in Spain to avoid the initiation of polydrug use or to prevent progress onto heavier drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1605-1609
Number of pages5
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Polydrug use
  • Spain
  • Substance use


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