Types of polydrug use among Spanish students in health sciences

Sílvia Font-Mayolas, Olga Hernández-Serrano, Maria E. Gras, Mark J.M. Sullman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Polydrug use among university students may be a predictor for established patterns of multiple substance use and potentially entail long-term health problems. This study examined the types of polydrug use among Spanish students in health sciences. Undergraduate students (n = 968), aged 18-38 years (M = 21.09 years, SD = 4.10), completed the survey. A percentage of 44.3% of the participants were classified as polydrug users. Type A users (alcohol and cigarettes) made up 17.8% of the participants surveyed, whereas 20.1% were Type B (cannabis with cigarettes and/or alcohol), and a further 5.7% were Type C (cannabis with cigarettes and/or alcohol, plus at least another kind of illegal drug). Type A was the most common type among women, whereas Type C was the most common among men. Type B use was higher among women 18-19 years old than among women 25-29 years old, whereas there were no female Type C users younger than 20 years old. Weekend consumption was higher, than weekday consumption, across all polydrug user types and substances. These results suggest that the prevalence of polydrug use among Spanish students in health sciences was similar to students in other disciplines, with Type B as the most prevalent among healthcare and nonhealthcare students. Taking into account the differences based on gender, age, and time of consumption, a specific approach to the different typologies of polydrug users might be a vital step in the successful development of preventive interventions tailored to the changing reality of psychoactive substance use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-113
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Addictions Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • health sciences
  • polydrug use
  • types of polydrug
  • university students


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