Evaluating substance use in an urbanizing town of mid hills of Northern India


  • Ajay K Singh District Programme Officer, Department Health and Family Welfare, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Kushel Verma Medical Officer, Regional Hospital, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Amit Guleria Department of Economics and Sociology, PAU Ludhiana, Punjab, India
  • Shalini Puri District Programme Officer, Department Health and Family Welfare, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Ankit Sharma Medical Officer, Regional Hospital, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Vaishali Sharma Counsellor (De-addiction), Regional Hospital, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India




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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How to Cite

Singh, A. K., Verma, K., Guleria, A., Puri, S., Sharma, A., & Sharma, V. (2020). Evaluating substance use in an urbanizing town of mid hills of Northern India. International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 8(10), 3611–3617. https://doi.org/10.18203/2320-6012.ijrms20204238



Original Research Articles