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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 89-95

Pattern of khat abuse and academic performance among secondary school and college students in Jazan region, kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)

Department of Psychiatry, King Fahad Central Hospital, Jizan, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Rashad M Al-Sanosy
Faculty of Medicine, Jazan University, P.O. Box 8300, Jizan
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 23012198

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Background: Khat is a widely-abused psychoactive substance in East African countries, Yemen and Southwestern areas of the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia (KSA), especially in Jazan region. However, patterns of Khat consumption as well as its adverse consequences on academic work are not well studied. Objective : The study was conducted to assess the pattern of Khat abuse and its associated academic effect on Secondary School and College students in Jazan region, KSA. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in May 2006, in Secondary Schools and Colleges in Jazan region, KSA. Students in each class were selected by systematic random sampling technique. Self-administered questionnaire was used for data collection. Data was processed and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Results: Most Khat sessions were conducted in homes (43.8%) and friend's houses (37.0%). The mean duration of a Khat session is 6.1 ±3.13 hours and 5.5% chew Khat for 12-18 hours. Most Khat sessions take place at the weekends (48.4%) usually after 8 p.m (69.8%). Seventy-eight percent of those who chewed Khat were also smokers. The academic performance of those who chewed Khat was low: 39.40% had poor grades, 41% were frequently absent from classes and 39.60% were on probation as a result of poor grades. Conclusion: Most chewing sessions took place at weekends usually in social gatherings after 8 p.m. with an average duration of about 6 hours. Smoking and educational problems were more prevalent among Khat chewers. Strong preventive and control measures including early interventions and increase of awareness need to be implemented. Recreational alternatives for young people and families especially at weekends and holidays have to be found.

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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010