Introduction The significantly use of alcohol by the population poses a serious public health threat. Alcohol deserves special attention for being socially accepted. Studies have been shown that levels of alcohol consumption among students and young people are particularly high. The objective was to analyse the prevalence of alcohol used by Brazilian pharmacy students and describe the pattern of their consumption.
Methods The sample included 329 undergraduate pharmacy students of Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Brazil who completed an anonymous, self-applied questionnaire adapted of the developed one for Brazilian Center Information of Psychoactive Drugs from august to december of 2010. This study was approved by Research Ethics Committee of the institution.
Results A total of 329 students answered the questionnaire and signed a free informed consent form. Age ranged from 17 to 28 years old (mean 21.1). The majority of students (97.3%) had used alcohol at least once in their life. Of those participants, 68.8% drink beer and 21.6 drink wine. The study indicated that 79.1% of the students had drunk alcohol in the last month and up to 60% of them consumed alcohol for 5 days. Almost 40% of the students had driven a car after alcohol consumption.
Conclusion This study presented a high consumption of alcohol in pharmacy students in agreement with other studies. Measures to discourage alcohol consumption before driving car should be implemented. Approaches to alter student perceptions have been demonstrated to be useful and should be carried out.