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Journal of Addiction
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 969837, 8 pages
Research Article

Substance Use and Associated Factors among University Students in Ethiopia: A Cross-Sectional Study

Department of Public Health, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University, P.O. Box 235, Harar, Ethiopia

Received 12 February 2014; Revised 1 April 2014; Accepted 1 April 2014; Published 28 April 2014

Academic Editor: Jennifer B. Unger

Copyright © 2014 Gezahegn Tesfaye et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Studies indicate that substance use among Ethiopian adolescents is considerably rising; in particular college and university students are the most at risk of substance use. The aim of the study was to assess substance use and associated factors among university students. A cross-sectional survey was carried out among 1040 Haramaya University students using self-administered structured questionnaire. Multistage sampling technique was used to select students. Descriptive statistics, bivariate, and multivariate analysis were done. About two-thirds (62.4%) of the participants used at least one substance. The most commonly used substance was alcohol (50.2%). Being male had strong association with substance use (AOR (95% CI), 3.11 (2.20, 4.40)). The odds of substance use behaviour is higher among third year students (AOR (95% CI), 1.48 (1.01, 2.16)). Being a follower of Muslim (AOR (95% CI), 0.62 (0.44, 0.87)) and Protestant (AOR (95% CI), 0.25 (0.17, 0.36)) religions was shown to be protective of substance use. Married (AOR (95% CI), 1.92 (1.12, 3.30)) and depressed (AOR (95% CI), 3.30 (2.31, 4.72)) students were more likely to use substances than others. The magnitude of substance use was high. This demands special attention, emergency preventive measures, and targeted information, education and communication activity.