Substance Abuse and Sleep Quality in University Students

Document Type : Original Article


Kavosh Cognitive Behavior Sciences and Addiction Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran



Background: Substance abuse remains a challenging public health issue, especially among young people. It has been shown that 
poor sleep and substance abuse may have mutual intensifying effects. This study aimed to evaluate the rates of substance abuse, 
cigarette smoking, and alcohol consumption and their association with sleep disturbances among university students in 2021. 
Methods: The participants were the students of the Faculty of Sciences, University of Guilan, Iran in 2021. Data were collected 
through a researcher-made demographic questionnaire, the first two questions of the translated version of the World Health 
Organization (WHO) Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST), and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality 
Index (PSQI).
Findings: A total of 222 students entered the study from March to August 2021. The rates of substance abuse in the past three 
months and lifetime were 35.6% and 45.5%, respectively. The most common type of substance abuse was related to the ‘other 
substances’ category. Substance abuse was significantly higher in students living in dormitories and those with a family history 
of substance abuse. Poor sleep was found in 34.2% of the students, and substance abuse and alcohol consumption both in the 
past three months and lifetime were significantly associated with lower sleep quality.
Conclusion: This study showed that substance abuse was significantly associated with sleep disturbances. The study results also 
illustrated an upward trend of substance abuse in recent years among students in Rasht, which may be related to economic 
issues in the country and/or the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Considering the rising prevalence of substance abuse and its 
impacts on society, policymakers are highly recommended to pay special attention to its risk factors.


Maryam Zavar Mousavi: (Google Scholar) (PubMed)

Amirhossein Tamimi: (Google Scholar) (PubMed)

Mitra Farsam: (Google Scholar) (PubMed)

Maryam Kousha: (Google Scholar) (PubMed)