Early life exposure to violence and substance misuse in adulthood: Data from the II Brazilian National Alcohol and Drugs Survey (BNADS)

First published: 10 May 2019 | Last updated: 20 May 2019

Dr Manuela Pires Rocha

AIM: Mapping the violence against children and adolescentes and it’s association with drug misuse during adulthood

METHOD: The Second Brazilian Alcohol and Drugs Survey (IIBNADS) interviewd 4607 individuals aged 14 years and older from the Brazilian household population including an oversample of 1157 adolescents (14 to 18 years old). The survey gathered information on alcohol, tobacco and ilegal substances use as well as on risk factors for abuse and dependence.

RESULTS: Hunger:17,3%; Financial Difficulties:8,8%; Illness in the family: 17,3; Family member death: 33%; Armed robbery victim: 2%. Violence witness : Agression between relatives ou caretakers 9,8%; against children or adolescentes 21,7%. Victms of some kind of violence : 20,5% girls, 17,7% boys (in 20% of the cases the agressor was under alcohol efects). Misuse of illicit substances by relatives:  3,7% were close relatives , 2,1% Brothers,  0,5% father; in 8% of the cases the relative used on the residence. Sexual violence: 5,3% of the adults (18 years old or more) suffered sexual abuse when under age; 7% girls and 3,4% boys; Agressor: 33% Family member, 25% friend of the Family, 18% strange person. Under age sexual abuse: 13% stated receiving money in return for sex before 18 year old. Violence impact in substances consumption during adulthood: 47,5% marijuana users and 52% of cocaine users were victims of violence or abuse.

CONCLUSION:  The prevalence on substance misuse among premature violence victims is higher than the general population. This shows a positive association between early life exposure to violence and substane misuse in adulthood


Ronaldo Laranjeira – PhD – Professor of Federal University of Sao Paulo Maria de Fatima Rato PAdin – PhD in Science of Health – Federal University of Sao Paulo

Conflicts of interest:

No conflict of interest

Manuela Pires Rocha