Risk Perception Related To (Il)licit Substance Use and Attitudes Towards Its' Use and Legalization – the Role of Age, Gender and Substance Use

Jelena Maričić, Ines Sucic, Vlado Šakić


The aim of this study was to determine the role of age, gender
and tobacco, alcohol and marijuana use in relation to different
aspects of attitudes toward (il)licit substance use. Differences in
risk perception and attitudes toward substance use were assessed
between groups of active substance users, ex-substance users,
and non-substance users with regard to their age and gender.
Respondents generally associated moderate risk with using tobacco/
alcohol/marijuana and large risk with using ecstasy/cocaine/
heroin, and they disapproved their use and legalization. Positive
correlation was found between the consumption of different substances,
and also between respondents' opinions on substance
criminalization, perception of risk associated with substance use,
and (il)licit substance use disapproval. Females and older
respondents typically used (il)licit substances less and were more
prone toward marijuana and heroin criminalization, substance
use disapproval, and associated greater risk with substance use.
Active users of any substance generally held the most permissive
attitudes. The strongest effect of alcohol and tobacco use on
attitudes was found among the youngest respondents, and the
weakest among the oldest, which indicates the need for
interventions to be focused even more on the younger population.


risk perception; attitudes; tobacco; alcohol and marijuana use; active; ex and non-users

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096