Evaluating substance use in an urbanizing town of mid hills of Northern India
Keywords:Cannabis, Chitta, Cluster analysis, De-addiction, Secondary data, Substance use
Background: Substance use is emerging as a major cause of morbidity and mortality across the world. Solan, a fast urbanizing town of India has witnessed mushrooming of industries and educational institutes. A surge in the persons booked under the Narcotic Drug and Psychoactive Substance Act 1985 led us to look into the determinants of the substance use in this region.
Methods: We undertook a cross sectional study of one year secondary data analysis of 750 substance users screened at the de-addiction centre of Solan Hospital. The data mining was done by the cluster analysis technique. SPSS 16 and STATA 13 software were employed.
Results: Mean age of users was 31 years with dominance of males (89.20 %), two third of total users were married, 75% were unemployed, 42% had upper school level education. About 60 and 38% were using cannabis and chitta (a synthetic opioid) respectively. Only 2% were consuming tobacco and alcohol. 62% of substance users had the fear of legal action and 44% had no family history of substance use. 39% had only single parent, 54% had started substance use under peer pressure and duration of use varied between 6 to 24 months. Alcohol and cannabis were used more in urban and rural areas respectively. 63 and 70% had family history and experience of peer pressure respectively.
Conclusions: Cluster analysis has generated substance specific socio-demographic determinants of substance use which would help in planning appropriate substance use alleviation strategies.
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