Introduction. The use of psychoactive substances in adolescents generates adverse effects on the individual, family, and development. This study aims to describe the adolescents' perception of the problems, causes, and consequences of psychoactive substance use in the school environment. Methodology. This qualitative, exploratory study involved the development of seven focus groups. Convenience sampling was used until data saturation. Forty adolescents from a public school in Bogota participated voluntarily, with prior informed consent and assent. A 10-question guide on psychoactive drug use was used. Audio recordings and transcripts were subjected to inductive and interpretative analysis. Results. These data were classified into three previously defined categories: 1) problem, 2) causes, and 3) consequences. One subcategory emerged in the first; two subcategories emerged in the second and third. Discussion. Studies confirm that the causes of psychoactive substance use are domestic abuse and bullying, which generate physical and mental effects. Unlike what is reported in the literature, adolescents do not perceive their peers and family members as protecting factors. Conclusion. From the adolescents' perception, access to psychoactive drug use in school environments is easy and sometimes occurs through outsiders. It is a problem related to family and social relations. They highlight as causes intra-family abuse, violence, and bullying. Consequently, they perceive that academic performance, physical and psychological health are affected.
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