An Epidemiological Study of Substance Abuse and Its Association with Sociodemographic Characteristics among Adolescents and Young Adults in a Rural Setting

Author(s): Veda N. Shetageri1 , Gaurav Uppal2 , G. Gopalakrishnan3

BACKGROUND Individuals between 10 and 30 (both inclusive) years of age constitute nearly 41% of population in India1 . Initiation to substance mostly happens in this age group. This study focused on association between dependent and non-dependent usage, sociodemographic characteristics, as well as factors used to assess the dependent or non-dependent use. METHODS Substance use data from 174 individuals between ages of 13 and 30 years within the limits of a primary healthcare center in rural India was gathered using WHO ASSIST version 3.0. Sociodemographic data from the same individuals was gathered using a semi structured proforma. The scores from ASSIST were used to assess the dependence. RESULTS Study found significant difference between dependent and non-dependent user groups based on employment, and significant difference among non-dependent user group based on religious beliefs. Among Christians, significant differences existed between dependent and non-dependent user groups. No significant association was found between dependent & non-dependent use and age, gender, education level, marital status or family type. Craving, frequency of substance use and salience differed significantly between dependent and non-dependent users. CONCLUSIONS In a population sharing the demographic characteristics, for determining propensity of a person using substance to be a dependent or a non-dependent user, combining few socio demographic factors with the substance usage related factors may be a more effective method.