Aim: To examine the problem of substance abuse with its different forms among male secondary school students in Abha City, KSA.
Methods: A Cross sectional design. Conducted in Abha City, which is the capital of Aseer Region in Saudi Arabia. The study population was all secondary school students in Abha city for boys (n=13). The number of registered students for the academic year 1434-1435 was 3852 students. In a selected school, the questionnaires were distributed to all chosen 350 students in the selected school. A self-administered pencil-and-paper questionnaire was used to collect data on history of substance abuse. The researcher personally collected the data from boys.
Results: The age of about two thirds of participant students (68.8%) was 17-18 years. About half of students' fathers (49.8%) attained university education, compared with 52.8% of mothers. About one fourth of students' fathers (23%) were unemployed compared with 43.3% of their mothers. Alcohol was taken by 9.3% of male secondary school students. 8.8% of male secondary school students were substance abusers. The main illicit drug was cannabis (51.4%) followed by glue/solvents (48.6%) and amphetamine (45.7%). 4% of male secondary students chew khat. More than one third of students (37.5%) started chewing khat before the age of 16 years. prevalence of cigarette smoking was significantly higher among older students (p=0.001) and third year students (p=0.020) and those who had lower grades in the last year (p<0.001). Prevalence of alcohol intake was higher among older students. However, differences were not statistically significant.
Conclusion: The prevalence of substance abuse among male secondary school students in Abha City is quite high. Students start smoking at an early age. Prevalence of substance abuse increases with students' age. The students mainly obtain the substance by themselves but sometimes through the help of friends.