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Psychiatry Journal
Volume 2017, Article ID 7517450, 9 pages
Research Article

Substance Use as a Strong Predictor of Poor Academic Achievement among University Students

1Psychiatry Department, College of Health Sciences and Medicine, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
2College of Health Sciences and Medicine, Wollo University, Dessie, Ethiopia
3School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences and Medicine, Wolaita Sodo University, Wolaita Sodo, Ethiopia

Correspondence should be addressed to Tesfa Mekonen; moc.liamg@1epohtrams

Received 1 January 2017; Revised 7 May 2017; Accepted 16 May 2017; Published 7 June 2017

Academic Editor: Nicola Magnavita

Copyright © 2017 Tesfa Mekonen 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.


Background. Substance use is a growing concern globally and its association with students’ academic performance is not well studied. Objective. This study was aimed to assess the prevalence of substance use (alcohol, tobacco, and khat) and its association with academic performance among university students. Methods. Cross-sectional study was conducted among Wolaita Sodo University students. A total of 747 students were selected by using cluster sampling technique. Data were collected by pretested self-administered questionnaire and examined using descriptive statistics and linear regression with 95% confidence intervals. Variables with value of less than 0.05 were considered as statistically significant. Result. Prevalence of substance use (alcohol, tobacco, and khat) was 28.6%. Substance use (current smoking, chewing khat at least weekly, drinking alcohol on a daily basis, and having intimate friend who uses substance) was significantly and negatively associated with students’ academic performance. Conclusion. Substance use among Wolaita Sodo University students was as common as other studies in Sub-Saharan countries and negatively associated with students’ academic achievement. The common practice of substance use and its association with poor academic performance demand the universities to have a good control of substance and to implement youth friendly activities.