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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

'57% male college students in city into substance abuse'

Vishav Bharti, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, October 08, 2013
First Published: 21:06 IST(8/10/2013) | Last Updated: 19:14 IST(9/10/2013)

More than 50% of the male college students in Chandigarh are into substance abuse, including alcohol, smoking and tobacco chewing. The fact has come to the fore in a study conducted by department of internal medicine of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 (GMCH-32).

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The study titled 'prevalence, pattern and familial effects of substance use among the male college students -a north Indian study' was published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research.

For the study, a total of 256 male college going students were interviewed from different colleges. The study found that 57% students were into substance abuse.

As far as the nature of the substance is concerned, the study found that alcohol tops the chart with 54% use. It was followed by smoking with 27%, tobacco chewing 8%, cannabis 7%, opiate use 3% and solvent use 1%.

In this study, none of the students reported use of cocaine, amphetamine, sedatives or heroin. No student reported injections as a source of drug abuse.

Highlighting the frequency of the use, the study found 49% of the users were using the substance on daily basis, while 23% used it on weekly basis.

While highlighting the reason of use, the study observed that 66% were using for relief from psychological stress and easy availability was another common reason of substance abuse.

The study also suggested some lifestyle-related interventions in order to reduce the problem of substance abuse. "There is an utmost need to educate and counsel young students regarding harmful effects of substance abuse. Health education may be imparted in the school curriculum. Parents should also be educated on what was the best way to discourage their wards against drugs," it observed.

Substance                Abuse
Alcohol                    54%
Smoking                 27%
Tobacco chewing     8%
Cannabis                  7%
Opiates                    3%
Solvent                     1%

Pocket money for buying substance

About 94% substance abusers spend their pocket money on buying substance of their choice. 9% reported that they had started using substances before attaining the age of 10. 97% were aware about the ill-effects of substance abuse. 48% said they had tried to stop using substances at some time or the other. 4% said they had undergone counselling to get rid of substance.

Substance abuse by streams

Medical       25%
Humanities    9%
Commerce    2%
Engineering   36%
Science        15%
Law             8%
Others         4.3%

What's substance abuse

Substance abuse can simply be defined as a pattern of harmful use of any substance for mood-altering purposes. Medline's medical encyclopedia defines drug abuse as "the use of illicit drugs or the abuse of prescription or over-the-counter drugs for purposes other than those for which they are indicated or in a manner or in quantities other than directed."

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