Published: 2020-09-24

Clinical and socio-demographic profile of substance abusing persons seeking treatment at a teaching hospital in Garhwal hills of Uttarakhand

Prem Singh, Harsh Rathi


Background: The substance abuse is gradually becoming one of the major public health issues of present day India. Many factors influence the pattern of substance abuse, including age, sex, educational level, social support, cultural factors, availability of drugs and the presence of cognitive or psychiatric problems. This study was planned to find out the clinical and socio-demographic profile of substance abusing persons.

Methods: The study was conducted in the Out-patient facility of the Department of Psychiatry, Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali Government Institute Of Medical Science and Research, Srinagar (Uttarakhand), starting from 23 September 2015. One hundred consecutive treatment seeking subjects fulfilling International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision (ICD-10), criteria for Mental and behavioural disorders due to psychoactive substance use were included in the study. All the participants were required to sign an informed consent approved by the institutional ethical committee before being enrolled in the study. All the subjects included in the study were administered a self-structured proforma to elicit the clinical and socio-demographic variables.

Results: One hundred patients consisting of 95 men (95%) and 05 women (05%) were included. The average age of the sample was 39.68 years (SD=11.97). As for the socio-demographic variables other than age, 87% of the patients were married, 62% patients were living in nuclear families and 66% belonged to the rural areas. 79% patients were educated up to high school and above and only 06% were illiterate. Alcohol was the most frequently abused substance seen in 78% patients followed by tobacco smoking in 58% of the study subjects. Peer Pressure was cited as the most common reason for the initiation of substance abuse by 75 (75%) patients.

Conclusions: Alcohol was the most commonly abused substance. Substance abuse was higher in married, educated males from rural areas living in nuclear families.


Clinical profile, Garhwal hills, Socio-demographic profile, Substance abuse

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