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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 25-29

Factors influencing substance use among adolescent slum dwellers of Guwahati City, Assam

1 Department of Community Medicine, Tezpur Medical College, Tezpur, Assam, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Gauhati Medical College, Guwahati, Assam, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Tanusri Bardhan
Department of Community Medicine, Tezpur Medical College, Bihaguri, Tezpur - 784 153, Assam
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmgims.jmgims_21_16

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Introduction: Humans have been using substances in one form or the other for centuries. Adolescents seem to be the most vulnerable group, and the slum dwellers are particularly at risk because of the prevailing environment. Objectives: The objective of this study is to study the prevalence of substance use among adolescents of slums of Guwahati city and to find out various factors influencing substance use among them. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among the adolescents living in slums of Guwahati, Assam, from February to May 2014. Using cluster sampling method, 23 slums were selected, and desired clusters were obtained by applying probability proportionate to size method. From each slum, equal number of boys and girls were interviewed to get a total of 414 study subjects. Statistical Analysis: Proportions, Chi-square test, and binary logistic regression were used. Results: The prevalence of ever users was 37.68% and 35.02% were current users. Gutkha was the most common substance used. The mean age of initiation of abusive substances was around 12 years for both boys and girls. Age, sex, religion, caste, schooling status, occupation, living status of parents and respondents, peer usage, and relationship with the family members showed significant association with substance use. Binary logistic regression concluded that age group, sex, and peer usage were the most significant factors influencing substance use behavior. Conclusion: As increasing age and peer usage influenced the substance usage, peer group counseling, recreational activities, and skill development programs in the early years hold promising in curbing the problem.

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