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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 3338-3342

Sociodemographic profile and pattern of substance abusers: A retrospective study to unveil the public health problem of Punjab

1 Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Patiala, Punjab, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Deputy Assistant Director of Health, Shillong, Meghalaya, India
3 Department of Biochemistry, AIIMS, Phulwarisharif, Patna, Bihar, India
4 Department of Community and Family Medicine, AIIMS, Phulwarisharif, Patna, Bihar, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Neha Chaudhary
Department of Community and Family Medicine, First Floor, Academic Building, AIIMS, Phulwarisharif, Patna - 801 507, Bihar
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_499_20

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Introduction: Substance abuse refers to the harmful or hazardous use of any psychoactive substance including licit and illicit drugs, other than when medically indicated. According to a UN report, 1 million heroin addicts are registered in India, and unofficially, there are as many as 5 million. Among all the states Punjab stood third in substance abuse and also injectable drug use. The present study was thus conducted to assess the sociodemographic profile and pattern of substance abuse among patients attending a Drug de-addiction centre. Material and Methods: A record-based analysis from March 2015 to March 2019 was done. Substance dependence was diagnosed post detailed clinical interview by a consultant psychiatrist at the center using DSM -10. For the 966 registered patients admitted in the last four years, the record was checked for completeness of data and relevant information on socio-demographic profile, substance abused, duration of hospital stays, drop out and relapse rates was extracted. Results: Of the total admitted patients (n= 966) 100% addicts were of male gender and natives of Punjab. 514 (53.21%) were married followed by 434(44.93%) never married. Maximum patients 456(47.20%) were self-employed. Heroin was the most abused drug. The injecting route of drug abuse was used by most of the abusers i.e. 51.66%. Only 173 (17.90%) patients dropped out of the treatment followed by relapse in 192 (19.88%). Conclusion: In this paper we demonstrated the vulnerability of young population towards drug addiction. Easy accessibility of drugs, peer pressure and difficult family circumstances raises the fragility to restore for substance use. However, community-based studies are imperative in order to estimate how big is the problem at the bottom.

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