ADDICTA: The Turkish Journal on Addictions
Original Article

Risk and Protective Factors in Predicting Drug and Substance Abuse Among Malaysian Youths


Psychology and Human Wellbeing Research Centre, University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, UKM, Bangi Selangor, Malaysia


Department of Community Health, University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Faculty of Medicine, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Health Psychology Programme, University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Faculty of Health Sciences, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


University Technology MARA, Faculty of Administrative Science and Policy Studies, Kelantan, Malaysia


UKM Pakarunding, University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Addicta 2023; 10: 23-33
DOI: 10.5152/ADDICTA.2023.22086
Read: 755 Downloads: 346 Published: 01 April 2023

Young people are the next generation and the hope of a country. Nevertheless, they are not spared from becoming trapped by drug abuse. In Malaysia, there was an increasing number of drug abuse reported among youths. The factors of drug involvement among youths are complex. Hence, this study was aimed at identifying the risk and protective factors of youth involvement in drug abuse in Malaysia. A cross-sectional study involving a national survey was conducted among 9818 respondents aged 15–40 years. Respondents were selected from all 14 states in Malaysia via stratified and systematic sampling. The inclusion criteria were Malaysian, age 15–40 years, at least 3 months of residence at the location, parental consent for those aged <18 years, no serious physical and mental illness, and ability to read and write in Malay. The questionnaires used were the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test; Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21; Religious Commitment Inventory-10; Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support; Misconduct Involvement Frequency Scale; and the Knowledge, Attitude, and Belief Test. The primary data were collected through a set of questionnaires which consisted of eight sections (sections A–I) via face-to-face interviews. The data collected were then analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 26 and STATA 22. The risk and protective factors of involvement in drug abuse were determined with multiple logistic regression analysis. The results showed that sourcing drugs from friends was a major risk factor for youth engagement in drug abuse while a positive attitude was a major protective factor against drug abuse among youths. Other than that, the increasing tendency of drug abuse among subjects was found to be related with age, negative influence, and antisocial behavior while a positive attitude and high moral support from family and friends were found as protective factors against drug abuse. These findings imply that stakeholders should focus on individual factors such as the influence of friends and simple drug resources in intervention planning activities and youth programs toward producing a drug-free generation.

Cite this article as: İsmail, R., Mohammed Nawi, A., Abdul Manaf, M. R., Hassan, M. R., Abdullah Mohd, H., İbrahim, N., Abdullah, İ. H. T., & Shukor, S. (2023). Risk and protective factors in predicting drug and substance abuse among Malaysian youths. Addicta: The Turkish Journal on Addictions, 10(1), 23-33.

ISSN 2148-7286 EISSN 2149-1305