‘Substance abuse prevalent among college-goers in Kashmir’

SRINAGAR: A study has found widespread substance abuse among college students in Kashmir.
To find out the prevalence and pattern of substance abuse and its association with various socio-cultural and demographic variables, 5 out of ten districts of Kashmir were randomly selected for the study by the Department of Community Medicine, SKIMS, and Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Srinagar.
The findings revealed that the prevalence of substance abuse among college students is high and has eventually become the cause of significant problems among them.
Based on response of 1300 students, the study says that the proportion of substance abuse was significantly higher with increasing age. A total of 26.5 per cent and 36.2 per cent students in adolescent and adult age group admitted of having abused any substance, the study says.
It says that substance abuse is more common among male population in Kashmir. “Male students have significantly higher prevalence of substance abuse as compared to female counterparts (37.5 per cent versus 19.6 per cent respectively).”
The maximum substance abuse was found among students from extended families (56.5 per cent followed by joint families (35.2 per cent) respectively. It was found that factors such as age, gender and family type are strongly associated with substance abuse.
The most common substance being abused by inhalants was found to be tobacco and its products (22.5 per cent) followed by solvents (10.0 per cent), alcohol (6.2 per cent), sedatives (5.9 per cent), cannabis (4.4 per cent), amphetamine products (2.1 per cent), hallucinogens (0.5 per cent) and cocaine (0.3 per cent).
“Involvement in substance abuse can lead to depression and vice-versa. This can form a vicious cycle and thus ruin the lives of most productive part of our community that is young adolescent students,” the study says.