BMC Psychiatry. 2022 Jul 29;22(1):513. doi: 10.1186/s12888-022-04160-2.
BACKGROUND: In Latin America and the Caribbean, there is a dearth of research exploring polysubstance use. This study aims to determine the prevalence, varying combinations and associated sociodemographic characteristics of polysubstance use in Jamaica.
METHODS: This study involved a secondary data analysis of the Jamaica National Drug Prevalence Survey 2016 dataset where 4,623 participants between the age of 12 and 65 years from each household were randomly selected as respondents. Statistical analysis was performed to determine the prevalence and the sociodemographic correlates of polysubstance use among Jamaicans.
RESULTS: 19.6% of respondents used two or more drugs in their lifetime. Of this amount 68.7% reported past year use and 61.9% reported past month use. Bivariate analyses reported polysubstance use was statistically significantly higher amongst males (U = 54,579, p = 0.000), those living in rural areas (U = 91,892, p = 0.003), non-Christian (U = 89,514, p = 0.014), and married persons (U = 74,672, p = 0.000). Past month polysubstance use was statistically significantly higher among employed persons than unemployed persons were (U = 81,342, p = 0.001). Surprisingly, there was a lack of significant differences between education level, household income and past month concurrent polysubstance use (p = 0.609; p = 0.115 respectively). Logistic regression model indicated males were 3.076 times more likely than females to report past month polysubstance use than females. Also, when compared to those 55-65 years old, participants 35-54 years were 2.922 times more likely and those 18-34 years were 4.914 times more likely to report past month polysubstance use. Additionally, those living in rural areas were 1.508 times more likely than participants living in urban areas to report past month polysubstance use. As it relates to occupational status, when compared to armed forces, skilled workers were 4.328 times more likely and unskilled workers were 7.146 times more likely to report past month polysubstance use.
CONCLUSIONS: One in five Jamaicans identified as polysubstance users, predominated by marijuana as the most common factor amongst the polysubstance combinations examined, signalling the need for early marijuana interventions.