• 1 Institute for Public Health, National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Setia Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
  • 2 Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Center for Addiction Science Studies (UMCAS), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
PLoS One, 2021;16(1):e0245593.
PMID: 33476329 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0245593


BACKGROUND: Polysubstance use is defined as the use of more than one non-prescribed licit or illicit substance either concurrently or simultaneously. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of single substance users and polysubstance users and 'their associated factors among adolescents in Malaysia.

METHODS: This study was a secondary data analysis from the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2017, a cross-sectional survey conducted among Malaysian school-going adolescents aged 13 to 17. The NHMS utilised a two-stage stratified cluster sampling. Multivariate Multinomial Logistic Regression analysis was applied.

RESULTS: The overall prevalence of single substance use and polysubstance use among adolescents were 17.2% and 5.1% respectively. The multinomial model showed a higher likelihood of being single or polysubstance user among male (single user OR = 3.0, poly user OR = 4.6), others Bumiputeras vs Malay (single user OR = 1.7, poly user OR = 5.3), those who live with a single parent (single user OR = 1.2, poly user OR = 1.4), involved in truancy (single user OR = 1.7, poly user OR = 3.6) and being bullied (single user OR = 1.3, poly user OR = 3.4), those who had lack of peer support (single user OR = 1.3, poly user OR = 1.4), poor parental bonding (single user OR = 1.4, poly user OR = 1.8), depression (single user OR = 1.4, poly user OR = 3.2) and those who had no close friend (single user OR = 1.3, poly user OR = 2.7).

CONCLUSION: Our study highlighted multiple significant associated factors of single and polysubstance use among adolescents in Malaysia. This result can assist in the development of specific intervention and prevention programs targeting high-risk groups.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.