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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 414-420

Pattern and prevalence of substance use and dependence in two districts of Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir: Special focus on opioids

1 Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience, Government Medical College, Srinagar, Kashmir, India
2 Drug De Addiction and Treatment Centre, Department of Psychiatry, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
3 Department of Social Work, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, Kashmir, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Fazle Roub Bhat
Senior Resident, Drug De addiction and Treatment Centre, Department of Psychiatry, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_1327_20

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Background: Kashmir has been at the centre of conflict between India and Pakistan after partition of erstwhile British India in 1947. While research suggests that conflict exposure may result in increased substance use, the prevalence of substance use disorders has remained an under-searched area in Kashmir. Method: We employed respondent-driven sampling (RDS) for recruiting substance users from two districts of Kashmir. Estimation of substance dependence was done using benchmarkmultiplier method. Results: Prevalence of any substance dependence was estimated to be 1.95% while as for any opioids, it was 1.80%. Heroin was the most common opioid with last year use by 84.33% respondents. Current prevalence of injection drug use was 0.95% and heroin was the most common opioid among Injection Drug User (IDU), being used by 91.12% IDUs followed by Pentazocine (5.92%). Conclusion: Our results indicate that RDS was a feasible and acceptable sampling method for recruiting 'difficult to reach 'participants like illicit substance users including IDUs. Our results further demonstrate that opioids are highly prevalent in Kashmir and heroin injection is not uncommon. All these findings call for attention from policy makers as opioids are one of the important contributors to mortality and morbidity related to substances.

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