Alcohol consumption among adolescents in Brčko District Bosnia and Herzegovina: Results from a cross-sectional population-based study

Anto Domić, Husref Tahirović, Mojca Čižek Sajko

Abstract

Objective – The present study was undertaken to determine alcohol consumption among adolescents attending state schools in the Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH).

Participants and method – The subjects were pupils in the ninth grade of elementary school and all high school pupils. 4,188 pupils took part in the survey. The research was planned as a cross-sectional study, and it was conducted using the ESPAD questionnaire, which was adjusted for this research. Demographic data were collected through a specific question-form for each enrolled adolescent.

Results – More than half the adolescents consumed alcohol. Boys did so more often, whilst there was no difference in alcohol consumption between those who lived in villages or towns. At the age of 14 years nearly half the adolescents had consumed alcohol, where boys had done so more often, as well as the adolescents from villages. The places where the adolescents most often consumed alcohol were discotheques, “at friends’ homes”, and in cafés. More than half the members of the adolescents’ households consume alcohol. Adolescents in the Brčko District of BH had consumed alcohol over the previous 30 days in a significantly higher percentage than pupils from the Republic of Srpska and the Federation of BH, and in a significantly lower percentage than pupils from Croatia, whilst the difference in comparison with Serbia was not significant. The frequency of alcohol intoxication in the Brčko District of BH was the lowest in comparison with the Republic of Srpska, the Federation of BH, Croatia and Serbia.

Conclusion – Overall alcohol consumption amongst adolescents is becoming generally acceptable behaviour, which is tolerated by the community and parents, in that alcohol consumption is becoming a life-style, but it is not being systematically studied as a negative phenomenon, nor are there any long-term programmes to deter adolescents from consuming alcohol.

Keywords

Alcohol; Adolescence; Brčko District of BH; Epidemiology; Drinking

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