Prevalence of substance abuse: a community based study

Roma S. Dadwani, Tintu Thomas


Background: Tobacco, alcohol, and illicit substance use continue to result in substantial morbidity and mortality and significant societal economic costs despite considerable efforts to minimize use of illicit substances and prevent use of illicit substances. The objective is to estimate the prevalence of substance use and its association with socio-demographic variables.  

Methods:A cross sectional study was carried out through house to house visits on 1341 randomly selected people of 10 years and above age group in urban area of Surendranagar city, Gujarat, India.

Results: In present study, overall prevalence of substance abuse was 18.86%. The mean age of onset for drug use was 26.9 years. Proportion of substance abuse found to be greater among males (79.84%), those who were from class IV (68.37%), those  who were  belongs to joint families (61.67%) and who were literate (55.73%). The most common substance to be abused was tobacco (38%) followed by alcohol (34%). Females showed high prevalence for chhikni or bajjar (80.39%).

Conclusions:Our study revealed that in spite of having strict legislation for prohibition of substance abuse, people are still addicted with alcohol, cannabis, drugs etc. So prohibition has done nothing more than drive liquor underground. There is a need to change either in law or in behavior of people at large.  


Substance abuse, Prevalence, Tobacco, Alcohol

Full Text:



Nadeem A, Rubeena B, Agarwal VK, Piyush K. Substance abuse in India. Pravara Med Rev. 2009;1(4):4-6.

WHO. Techn. Res. Ser. No.886: 1999. p. 48.

WHO (2002c). The world health report 2002: Reducing risks, promoting healthy life style. Geneva, World Health Organization.

World Health Organization (WHO). Tobacco or Health: A global status report. Geneva: WHO 1997.

Srivastava A, Pal HR, Dwivedi SN, et al. National household survey of drug abuse in India. Report submitted to the Indian Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime 2003.

Nandi DN, Ajmany S, Ganguli H, Banerjee G, Boral GC, Ghosh A et al. Psychiatric disorders in a rural community in West Bengal: An epidemiological study. Indian J Psychiatry. 1975;17:87-99.

Ghulam R, Rahman I, Naqi S, Gupta SR. An epidemiological study of drug abuse in urban population of Madhya Pradesh. Indian J Psychiatry. 1996;38:160-5.

Hazarika NC, Biswas D, Phukan RK, Hazarika D, Mahanta J. Prevalence and pattern of substance abuse at Bandardewa, A border area of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Indian J Psychiatry. 2000;42:262-6.

Ray R, Mondal AB, Gupta K, Chatterjee A, Bajaj P. New Delhi: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India 2004. The extent, pattern and trends of drug abuse in India: National Survey.

Din Prakash R, Namita, Chaturvedi RM. A study of socio-demographic factors contributing to the habit of drug abuse in the urban slum community of Mumbai. Biomedical Research. 2010;21(3):277-84.

Sarangi L, Acharya HP, Panigrahi OP. Substance abuse among adolescents in urban slums of sambalpur. Indian J Community Med. 2008;33:265-7.

Kokiwar PR, Jogdand GS. Prevalence of Substance Use among Male Adolescents in an Urban Slum Area of Karimnagar District, Andhra Pradesh. Indian Journal of Public Health. 2011;55(1):42-5.

Mehta F, James E, Hamner III. Tobacco related oral mucosal lesions and conditions in India: A guide for dental Students. Bombay: TIFR; 1993: 89-99.

Doctor PP. A cross sectional epidemiological study of substance users in an urban field practice area in Mumbai. Calicut Medical Journal. 2004;2:8-9.

Baba TA, Ganai AM, Qadri SS, Margoob MA, Iqbal QM, Khan ZA. An epidemiological study on substance abuse among college students of north India (Kashmir valley). Int J Med Sci Public Health. 2013;2(3):562-7.

Qadri SS, Goel RKD, Singh J, Ahluwalia SK, Pathak R, Bashir H. Prevalence and pattern of substance abuse among school childern in nothern India: A rapid assesment study. Int J Med Sci Public Health. 2013;2(2):273-82.

Tiwari SC, Kumar P, Tripathi R. Pattern and frequency of substance abuse in urban population of Lucknow. Indian J Psychiatry. 2008;17(1):33-8.

Meena, Khanna P,Vohra AK, Rajput R. Prevalence and pattern of alcohol and substance abuse in urban areas of Rohtak city. Indian J Psychiatry. 2002;44:348-52.