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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 558-562

Drug abuse: Uncovering the burden in rural Punjab

Department of Community Medicine, Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences Medical College and Hospital, Jalandhar, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Bhuwan Sharma
Department of Community Medicine, Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences, 4th Floor, Garah Road, Jalandhar - 144 001, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.222037

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Introduction: Drug abuse is a global phenomenon, affecting almost every country, but its extent and characteristics differ from region to region. India too is caught in this vicious circle of drug abuse, and the numbers of drug addicts are increasing day by day. The bane of drug abuse in Punjab has acquired the proportions of a pestilence that has shaken the entire society in the state. It is observed that in Punjab “drug abuse” is a raging epidemic, especially among the young. Methodology: The present cross-sectional study was conducted on 400 adolescents and young adults (11–35 years) from 15 villages of Jalandhar District. Systematic sampling (probability proportionate to size) was used for the selection of study subjects. A preformed, semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect information on type and frequency of drugs abused and other sociodemographic variables. The statistical evaluation of the data was performed using SPSS software, version 21.0. Results: The prevalence of substance abuse among study group was 65.5% and most common substance abused was alcohol (41.8%), followed by tobacco (21.3%). A high prevalence of heroin abusers was noted among study subjects (20.8%). The prevalence of nonalcohol and nontobacco substance abuse was 34.8%. A significant association of drug abuse was observed with male gender, illiteracy, and age above 30 years. Conclusions: The problem of drug abuse in youth of Punjab is a matter of serious concern as every third person is hooked to drugs other than alcohol and tobacco. The other striking observations were the high prevalence of heroin and intravenous drug abuse.

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