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Underwood B, Fox K, Nixon PJ. 
“Alcohol and drug use among vocational dental practitioners”. 
Br Dent J. 2003 Sep 13;195(5):265-8; discussion 25.
OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to investigate the prevalence of alcohol and drug use in vocational dental practitioners (VDPs).

DESIGN: Anonymous self-report questionnaire. SUBJECTS AND

METHODS: All UK vocational dental practitioners (n = 719) who started practice in the summer of 1999 were questioned on their use of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and other illicit drugs whilst a VDP and before graduation.

RESULTS: Eighty-nine per cent of males and 88% of females reported alcohol use. Of these, 35% of males and 36% of females drank above sensible levels (up to 21 units per week for males, 14 units for females), with 48% of males and 52% of females 'binge drinking'. Thirty-three per cent of respondents reported cannabis use whilst a VDP. Regular drug use (use at least once a month) other than cannabis whilst a VDP was found to be highest among males, with regular ecstasy use reported by 4% and regular cocaine use reported by 2%. Regular tobacco use (ten or more cigarettes per day) was reported by 9% of VDPs. Regular tobacco users were found to be six times more likely to use cannabis on a regular basis, three times more likely to use ecstasy on a regular basis and four times more likely to use cocaine on a regular basis than those VDPs who reported non regular tobacco use. CONCLUSION: VDPs are drinking above sensible limits, binge drinking, using tobacco and indulging in illicit drug use to a degree that will cause health problems. However, use of all substances had reduced since qualification.
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