SOFT - TIAFT 1998 Poster Session 4 Friday October 9, 1998

Wojciech Piekoszewski1,2, Janusz Pach3

1. Institute of Forensic Research, Westerplatte 9, 31-033, Kraków;
2. Laboratory of Clinical Toxicology, Rydyger's Hospital, Zlotej Jesieni 1, 31-826 Kraków;
3. Department of Clinical Toxicology, Jagiellonian University, Zlotej Jesieni 1, 31-826 Kraków, Poland

Sixty-one health young (18 -20 years) male students from two high schools: one located in downtown and the other in the suburb of Kraków, were asked to fill out a questionnaire concerning their drinking and smoking habits. Additionally, urine samples were taken from each student. The students answered the following questions: How often do you drink? What kind of alcohol do you drink?, Did you ever lose consciousness after alcohol consumption? Do you smoke, how many cigarettes per day, since when? In the urine samples, amphetamine, opiates, tetrahydrocannabinols and cocaine were measured by fluorescence polarization immunoassay and cotinine by HPLC.

The studies showed that more than 50% students drink only occasionally, once a week or less and the most popular beverage was beer. An alarming fact was the consumption of strong alcohol beverages by the students. The smoking habit was less popular than expected, 23 % (questionnaire and level of cotinine in urine). The use of narcotics was the most dangerous habit observed among Polish youth, being more frequent than ever before. Amphetamine was the most common drug and was detected in 17% of the studied groups. In 7% of the students tetrahydrocanabinol (marihuana) was detected in urine samples. Fortunately none of the studied group used opiates or cocaine. We did not observed any differences in drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes and using drugs between the students from the two schools.

We conclude that, great attention must be paid to young people who are using "soft" drugs that can be a gateway to the use of opiates or cocaine.

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