The official journal of
EUROPAD - European Opiate Addiction Treatment Association
WFTOD - World Federation for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence
Editor: Icro Maremmani, MD - Pisa, Italy, EU
Associate Editors:
Thomas Clausen, MD - Oslo, Norway
Pier Paolo Pani, MD - Cagliari, Italy, EU
Marta Torrens, MD - Barcelona, Spain, EU
Statistical Editor:
Mario Miccoli, PhD - Pisa, Italy, EU

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Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems: 2023, 25, N4 (pages: 23 - 32)

Exposure and addiction rates to substances and behaviours among Israeli university students

Snits A., Rozner L., Shoshan S., and Peles E.

Summary: Background: Common behaviours, including natural habits such as sex and eating, and even potentially healthy behaviours, like physical exercise, have been considered for inclusion as addictive disorders. Exposure to and addiction rates of potentially addictive substances and behaviours have never been simultaneously evaluated. Aims: To assess and characterise among university students the level of exposure and addiction rates to several substances and behaviours simultaneously. Methods: 229 Tel Aviv University students reported their exposure to 13 potentially addictive substances and behaviours in an anonymous questionnaire which included questions based upon the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM 5) criteria for substance use disorders. The students also answered two personality questionnaires: Barratt's Impulsiveness Scale and the Big Five. Results: Almost half (48%) of the students had at least one addiction, and 64 (58.2%) had more than one addiction, non-to-prescription medication. The most prevalent reported behavioural addiction was internet surfing (34%), followed by eating sweets (27.6%). The number of addictions was linearly correlated to non-planning impulsivity (R = 0.2, p = 0.01) and neuroticism (R = 0.2, p = 0.001) and inversely related to conscientiousness (R = -0.2, p = 0.002). Conclusions: In normative university students, Internet surfing had the highest exposure and behavioural addiction rate. Increased awareness and targeting of gender-specific risk factors may be used to develop university intervention programs to help prevent students from developing substance use and behavioural addictions.


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