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Knowledge, pattern and contributing factors regarding substance abuse among adolescents

Author: 
Reji, R.K., Neha, Apoorva, Sarita Verma, Deep Shikha and Rachna Chaurasia
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: India is home to the highest number of child population in the world- around 440 million, out of which 243 million are adolescents constituting over 20% of the population of India. Of total adolescent population, 54% belong to 10-14 year age group and nearly 46% are in the most vulnerable age group in which the child acquires academic, cognitive, social and life skills. Recent times have witnessed a gradual increase in substance use amongst the younger population, with more people initiating substance use from an early age. WHO estimates that globally 25 to 90% Adolescents have used at least one substance of abuse. Method: A descriptive cross sectional study was undertaken by using purposive sampling technique to assess the knowledge, pattern and contributing factors regarding substance abuse among adolescents. Total 50 samples of aged between 13-19 years were selected through purposive sampling from Alambagh, Urban Community under Rural Health Training Centre of KGMU, Lucknow. Non experimental quantitative survey approach in which structured questionnaire was used for assessing the socio demographic data, existing level of knowledge, pattern of substance abuse and contributory factors leading to substance abuse among the respondents. Descriptive and inferential statistics was used for the analysis of the tabulated data. Results: Out of 50 respondents maximum respondents 23(46%) were from age group of 16-17 years, Further on the basis of educational qualification ,maximum respondents 46(96%) were from graduation, 3(6%) from class 12th, 1(2%) was from class 8th . 37 (74%) had poor knowledge regarding substance abuse and 13 (26%) had average knowledge about substance abuse. There were no respondents in the category of good knowledge level. It was also found that alcohol i.e. 38(76%) is the most frequently abused substance. The preferred occasions for substance abuse were found to be mostly with friends 14(33%). The availability of getting the beverages was found to be very easy as Beer in 25(50%) respondents and wine in 22(44%), foreign liquor 20(40%), country liquor 22(44%). Most of the respondents 36 (60%) use their pocket money for substance abuse and 4(6%) use getting money by stealing or received by relatives for substance abuse. 22 (44.9%) use substance due to emotional disturbances. However there was no significant association observed between the knowledge level and selected socio demographic variables. Conclusion: The first step is to acknowledge this emerging problem that needs to be proactively addressed. It is important to bring stakeholders together to address the issue through a multisectorial approach with an equal focus on prevention as well as treatment efforts at individual, family and community level of the concerned ones.

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