Prevalence and Pattern of Psychoactive Substance Use among Female Students in North India

The frequent collection, analysis and publication of data on psychoactive substance use among young people is essential to follow trends which can be used to inform practice and public health policy.

In India, psychoactive substance use is a growing problem among males and female. However, there may be gender differences in the effect of substance use, risk to developing addiction and reason for consumption.

A recent cross-sectional survey has analysed psychoactive substance use among 250 female students in North India.

Results from the study found that:

  • Lifetime prevalence of psychoactive substance use was 13.6%
  • 47% of the participants claimed they started using psychoactive substances out of curiosity or for fun
  • Nearly 74% of the study participants belonged to uppermiddle-class socio-economic families.
  • 12% described trying to stop but failing.
  • Alcohol is the primary psychoactive substance used by female students.

These results highlight the need for further research into risk and protective factors associated with psychoactive substance initiation and continued use. The findings can also be used to guide prevention intervention.

Kaur, Rajbir, Tarundeep Singh, Debasish Basu, and Rajesh Kumar. "Prevalence and pattern of psychoactive substance use among female students aged 18-25 years in universities of North India." International Journal Of Community Medicine And Public Health 6, no. 2 (2019): 602-609.
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