Running away experience and psychoactive substance use among adolescents in Taiwan: multi-city street outreach survey

Shi-Heng Wang; Wen-Chun Chen; Chih-Yin Lew-Ting; Chuan-Yu Chen; Wei J. Chen
January 2010
BMC Public Health;2010, Vol. 10 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
Background: This study aimed to examine: 1) the relationship between being a runaway and the time since the first absconding event and adolescent substance use; 2) whether different kinds of psychoactive substances have a different temporal relationship to the first absconding event; and 3) whether the various reasons for the first absconding event are associated with different risks of substance use. Methods: Participants were drawn from the 2004-2006 nationwide outreach programs across 26 cities/towns in Taiwan. A total of 17,133 participants, age 12-18 years, who completed an anonymous questionnaire on their experience of running away and substances use and who were now living with their families, were included in the analysis. Results: The lifetime risk of tobacco, alcohol, betel nut, and illegal drug/inhalant use increased steadily from adolescents who had experienced a trial runaway episode (one time lasting ⩽ 1 day), to those with extended runaway experience (⩾ 2 times or lasting > 1 day), when compared to those who had never ran away. Adolescents who had their first running away experience > 6 months previously had a greater risk of betel nut or illegal drug/ inhalant use over the past 6-months than those with a similar experience within the last 6 months. Both alcohol and tobacco use were most frequently initiated before the first running away, whereas both betel nut and illegal drug/inhalant use were most frequently initiated after this event. When adolescents who were fleeing an unsatisfactory home life were compared to those who ran away for excitement, the risk of alcohol use was similar but the former tended to have a higher risk of tobacco, betel nut, and illegal drug/inhalant use. Conclusions: More significant running away and a longer time since the first absconding experience were associated with more advanced substance involvement among adolescents now living in a family setting. Once adolescents had left home, they developed additional psychoactive substance problems, regardless of their reasons for running away. These findings have implications for caregivers, teachers, and healthcare workers when trying to prevent and/or intervening in adolescent substance use.


Related Articles

  • Dead-End Street. Mehta, Julie // Current Health 2;Feb2008, Vol. 34 Issue 6, p8 

    The article discusses the risks of running away from home for teenagers.

  • Framing drug and alcohol use as a public health problem in Britain. Mold, Alex // Nordic Studies on Alcohol & Drugs / Nordisk Alkohol- & Narkotika;Apr2018, Vol. 35 Issue 2, p93 

    Recent attempts to approach drug and alcohol problems as a public health issue in the UK and globally have begun to achieve some success. Yet, in historical terms, the idea that the use of psychoactive substances should be regarded as a public health problem is a relatively new one. In the UK,...

  • The Epidemiology of Licit and Illicit Substance Use Among High School Students in Greece. Kokkevi, Anna; Stefanis, Costas // American Journal of Public Health;Jan1991, Vol. 81 Issue 1, p48 

    Findings on self-reported adolescent licit and illicit substance use are presented based on a nationwide 1984 probability sample of 11,058 Greek adolescent students ages 14-18 years old. Regular smoking and use of alcohol in the 30 days prior to the survey were reported by 22.3 percent and 82.8...

  • Where is "society"? Hellman, Matilda // Nordic Studies on Alcohol & Drugs / Nordisk Alkohol- & Narkotika;Aug2019, Vol. 36 Issue 4, p311 

    No abstract available.

  • SUBSTANCE ABUSE DISORDERS AMONG HOMELESS AND RUNAWAY ADOLESCENTS. Johnson, Kurt D.; Whitbeck, Les B.; Hoyt, Dan R. // Journal of Drug Issues;Fall2005, Vol. 35 Issue 4, p799 

    This paper presents lifetime and 12-month prevalence rates and comorbidity data for substance abuse disorders among homeless and runaway adolescents. Data are from baseline interviews of a longitudinal diagnostic study of 428 (187 males and 241 females) homeless and runaway adolescents aged 16...

  • Recurring alcohol-related care between 1998 and 2007 among people treated for an alcohol-related disorder in 1997: A register study in Stockholm County.  // BMC Public Health;2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p574 

    The article presents a study conducted to analyze the recurrent alcohol-related care among the people treated for alcohol related disorders in 1997 in Sweden. It is mentioned that the study was conducted on all inpatients that have alcohol related problems were followed from 1998 to 2007. It was...

  • Caffeinated alcoholic beverages prone to abuse by underage drinkers.  // Contemporary Pediatrics;Sep2011, Vol. 28 Issue 9, p11 

    The article reports that the caffeinated alcoholic beverage Four Loko leads to a decreased perception of intoxication, resulting in abuse by underage drinkers. It mentions that 11 patients reported to the emergency department (ED) of a New York City hospital with an altered mental status,...

  • ONE READER STEPS UP TO THE PLATE. McMillan, Dan // Alive: Canada's Natural Health & Wellness Magazine;May2011, Issue 343, p17 

    A letter to the editor is presented in response to the article "Men-tal Health" by Jonathan Prousky in the March 2011 issue.

  • UK restrictions aimed at alcohol ads for teens. Spooner, Mary Helen // CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;11/12/2002, Vol. 167 Issue 10, p1157 

    Reports on under age drinking in the United Kingdom. Discussion about reasons for the increase in under age drinking; Statistics on under age drinking; Types of drinks being consumed by under age drinkers.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics