Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 44, Issue 9, pp 777–783

Prevalence and correlates of illicit and non-medical use of psychotropic drugs in Japan

Findings from the World Mental Health Japan Survey 2002–2004
  • Mayumi Tominaga
  • Norito Kawakami
  • Yutaka Ono
  • Yoshibumi Nakane
  • Yoshikazu Nakamura
  • Hisateru Tachimori
  • Noboru Iwata
  • Hidenori Uda
  • Hideyuki Nakane
  • Makoto Watanabe
  • Yoichi Naganuma
  • Toshiaki A. Furukawa
  • Yukihiro Hata
  • Masayo Kobayashi
  • Yuko Miyake
  • Tadashi Takeshima
  • Takehiko Kikkawa
ORIGINAL PAPER

DOI: 10.1007/s00127-009-0499-1

Cite this article as:
Tominaga, M., Kawakami, N., Ono, Y. et al. Soc Psychiat Epidemiol (2009) 44: 777. doi:10.1007/s00127-009-0499-1

Abstract

Purpose

To describe the prevalence of illicit and non-medical use of drugs, the age of first use, and their correlates in the general population of Japan, based on data collected between 2002 and 2004 as part of the World Mental Health (WMH) surveys.

Methods

Participants included were a subsample (n = 887) of the total 2,436 Japanese-speaking respondents aged ≥20 years, randomly sampled from residents in seven cities/municipalities in Japan. Face-to-face household surveys were conducted using the Japanese version of the fully structured WHO WMH Survey Initiative version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview.

Results

Lifetime prevalence of marijuana and cocaine use, non-medical use of prescribed drugs such as tranquilizers, stimulants and analgesics, and use of other substances was 1.5, 0.3, 6.4 and 2.4%, respectively. Lifetime use of marijuana was significantly greater among men. Prescription drug abuse/misuse was significantly more common among the middle-aged (35–49 years) group and those who were married/cohabitating. The 12-month prevalence of marijuana and non-medical use was 0.3 and 1.9%, respectively. Age of first use was likely to be early adulthood. Non-medical use was significantly related to mood disorder, anxiety disorder, intermittent explosive disorder and alcohol abuse/dependence.

Conclusions

The present study confirmed lower prevalence of drug use in Japan than in other countries, such as the United States. However, the non-medical use of psychotropic drugs seems more common in Japan.

Keywords

CIDIdescriptive epidemiologydrug useprevalenceWMH surveys

Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag Darmstadt 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mayumi Tominaga
    • 1
  • Norito Kawakami
    • 1
  • Yutaka Ono
    • 2
  • Yoshibumi Nakane
    • 3
  • Yoshikazu Nakamura
    • 4
  • Hisateru Tachimori
    • 5
  • Noboru Iwata
    • 6
  • Hidenori Uda
    • 7
  • Hideyuki Nakane
    • 8
  • Makoto Watanabe
    • 4
  • Yoichi Naganuma
    • 5
  • Toshiaki A. Furukawa
    • 9
  • Yukihiro Hata
    • 10
  • Masayo Kobayashi
    • 4
  • Yuko Miyake
    • 5
  • Tadashi Takeshima
    • 5
  • Takehiko Kikkawa
    • 11
  1. 1.Dept. of Mental HealthTokyo University Graduate School of MedicineTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Health CenterKeio UniversityTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Division of Human SociologyNagasaki International University Graduate SchoolNagasakiJapan
  4. 4.Dept. of Public HealthJichi Medical SchoolTochigiJapan
  5. 5.National Institute of Mental HealthNational Center of Neurology and PsychiatryTokyoJapan
  6. 6.Dept. of Clinical PsychologyHiroshima International UniversityHiroshimaJapan
  7. 7.Health, Social Welfare, and Environmental Dept.Osumi Regional Promotion BureauKagoshimaJapan
  8. 8.Division of Neuropsychiatry, Dept. of Translational Medical SciencesNagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical SciencesNagasakiJapan
  9. 9.Dept. of Psychiatry and Cognitive-Behavioral MedicineNagoya City University Graduate School of Medical SciencesAichiJapan
  10. 10.Dept. of Psychiatry, Field of Social and Behavioral MedicineKagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental SciencesKagoshimaJapan
  11. 11.Dept. of Human Well-beingChubu Gakuin UniversityGifuJapan