Effect of Gaza 2014 war on use of smoking, tramadol, and psychoactive drugs among university students

Mohammed Fathi Al-Afifi

M.F. Al-Afifi1, M. Sakka2, M. Shehada1, R. Afifi1. 1Substance Abuse Research Center, Palestinian Territories; 2Al-Azhar University, Palestinian Territories

On July 2014, Israel launched a war on Gaza which continued for 51 days, 2200 Gazan people were killed, 10,000 were injured and 3000 houses were destroyed. After the war, we carried a study to evaluate the war effects on use of smoking, Tramadol, and other psychoactive drugs in Gaza.

Method: A random sample (n= 480) of university students (20-25 years) were selected. Of them 145 were females. A questionnaire was used. Variables covered demography, history of smoking, using Tramadol, and other psychoactive drugs and any change of usage pattern before, during, and one month after the war. Data were analyzed with SPSS.

Results: data collected covered use pre-war, during war, and one month after war respectively. Among males: smoking was 66% , 78.8% , and 77.8%, while for Tramadol was 26.9% , 39.4%, and 34.3%, and other drugs was 6.6% , 11.9%, and 9.3%. As for females: smoking 15.2%, 21.4%, and 18.6%, while Tramadol was 13.8%, 22.1%, and 20.7% and other drugs was 8.3% (not changed).

Conclusion: The study revealed an increase in smoking, Tramadol, and other drugs use during the war. This was explained by anxiety, fear, and terror suffered. The important finding was that between 7-12% (new users) continue to use smoking and Tramadol after end of the war, which means the addiction hazard is long lasting after war and violence periods. A follow up after one year is recommended, also intensive psycho-social intervention and support is needed to help the sufferers after such situations.

Abstract Year: 
2015
Abstract Region: 
Middle East
Abstract Country: 
Palestinian Territory, Occupied
Abstract Category: 
Epidemiology