Breaking the Taboo: Illicit Drug Use among Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Hogendorf, AM., Fendler, W., Sieroslawski, J., Bobeff, K., Wegrewicz, K., Malewska, K., Przudzik, MW. et al.
Journal / Publication name: 
Journal of Diabetes Research


The aim of the study was to explore the prevalence of illicit drug use in a group of Polish adolescents with type 1 diabetes (DM1) in comparison with a national cohort of their healthy peers.


Two hundred and nine adolescents with DM1, aged 15-18 years, were studied in 2013 with an anonymous questionnaire prepared for the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD). The control group was a representative sample of 12114 students at the same age who took part in ESPAD in 2011. Metabolic control was regarded as good if self-reported HbA1c was <8% or poor if HbA1c was ≥8%.


Lifetime prevalence of illicit drug use was lower among adolescents with DM1 than in the control group [58 (28%) versus 5524 (46%), p = 10(-5)]. Cannabis preparations were the most frequently used substances [38 (18.3%) versus 3976 (33.1%), p = 10(-5)], followed by tranquilizers, sedatives, and amphetamine. Lifetime and last 12-month use of cannabis were associated with poorer glycemic control (HbA1c ≥ 8%), p < 0.01 and 0.02, respectively.


Adolescents with DM1 report using illicit drugs to a lesser extent than their healthy peers. The use of cannabis is associated with a poorer metabolic control in teens with DM1.

Publishing year: 
Type of Document: 
Peer reviewed article/paper