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The UNC declares institutional interest a scientific survey of the university student population about alcohol and other substances

La UNC declara de interés institucional una encuesta científica a la población estudiantil universitaria sobre consumo del alcohol y otras sustancias

The National University of Cordoba said institutional interest an initiative by a research team at the Faculty of psychology to carry forward the project of Longitudinal Best Survey Sites on Alcohol (ELSA), and thus identify groups with risk of problematic consumption patterns.

The scientific work will be applied on a sample of at least 4000 students from UNC, aged between 18 and 25 years, belonging to different races, and perpetrators are researchers of CONICET and the Faculty of psychology, Angelina Pilatti and Ricardo Pautassi.

What will seek to know are paths of college students drinking from your income and years of education. In addition, the factors that have greater effect on the forecast of consumption of alcohol and other substances, as well as the problems associated with these practices will be identified.

In this sense, different questionnaires investigate the socio-demographic information of the subjects (age, sex, socioeconomic status, etc.); consumption of alcohol and other substances; tobacco and drugs; problems associated with alcohol (occupational, academic, interpersonal problems, conduct of risk, etc.); perception of parents of students consumption; and it will also seek to gather information to build a family history of alcohol abuse.

Pioneering research

The UNC scientists aims to follow participants for approximately five years studied. Had already made a first preliminary work from the cohort who started in 2014.

The ELSA, Angelina Pilatti, project director explains: “substance use is a behavior with characteristic and changing patterns that require frequent and regular measurements. The systematic measurement of substance use behaviours is fundamental for, on the one hand, know what the status of this problem and, on the other hand, identify changes or trends in the use of these substances over time.”

In this way, through the use of questionnaires, each year will collect new information from the sample “to create an observatory that register and identify the behaviour of consumption of this population. “We plan to follow the participants from 2016 to 2020, and so on”, says Pilatti.

According to the team, in Argentina there are no epidemiological studies focusing on the University population and no longitudinal research – which are studying a group of people over a period of time – that allow analyzing trajectories of consumption and develop theoretical models. This information is necessary to identify people at risk of becoming dependent and develop prevention plans.

“We will improve our understanding of the behaviour of consumption and its consequences, and risk factors,” says Pilatti.

“We will be able, for example, generate profiles who are freshmen at the UNC that with risk of developing problems with alcohol.” These profiles can be used in screenings socio-health to detect individuals and thus to guide clinical decisions or public policy. “In short: you can make decisions and develop plans based on scientific evidence”, complete the researcher.

Alcohol and college students
According to the international scientific literature, the excessive consumption of alcohol among college students is an important public health problem in several countries, such as United States, Italy and Sweden. In the country’s North, for example, research indicates that half of the students exhibit consumption “binge” (when swallowed, once same, 56/70 grams of alcohol in women and in men). 20% of U.S. students, moreover, have abuse and suffer from dependency. This last group is more likely to experience negative consequences including failures of academic performance, fainting, unplanned and unsafe sex, sexual, physical aggressions and accidents. The consequences are also long-term, since some students keep this pattern of problematic use throughout the race. We found that 43% of young people aged 18-19 who were diagnosed with alcohol abuse disorder continued to maintain that diagnosis seven years later, that is, when they were 25 years old.