Published: 2021-07-27

Life skills education: a coping strategy against substance abuse

Pritam Kumar Roy, Mounika Pydipalli, Shruti Trivedi, Waheda Rehman, Vallabh Thakkar


Substance abuse has been a topic of discussion for healthcare professionals. It involves using harmful or hazardous psychoactive substances that, if administered into one's system, can affect the mental processes. Consumption of these substances leads to societal as well as health problems among its users there by indirectly affecting their families too. These substances mainly include alcohol, tobacco, opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, hallucinogens, prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse.1,2 According to the world drug report 2020 by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), there are about 35 million people who suffer from drug use disorders and require treatment services globally.2 In India, the substance abuse epidemic in the younger generation has increased rapidly. The crucial factors which lead to these problems involve familial, social as well as individual problems. Familial issues may involve childhood maltreatment or familial substance abuse. Similarly, social issues involves deviant peer pressure and association with popular groups in order to prevent from being bullied. Individual factors which might lead to substance abuse includes depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).3 Its prevalence at the national level varies for different substance abuse forms, accompanied by drastic regional variations. Issues regarding treatment access and adherence concerning substance user disorders (SUD) already existed. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, drastic social and economic changes have further worsened the situation. So in this regard, newer strategies have to be brought up in place.4 It has been found that life skills education is one of the most influential activities in school-based substance abuse prevention.


Life skills, Coping strategy, Substance abuse

Full Text:



National Health Portal Of India. Fact sheet: Substance abuse, 2017. Available at: Accessed on 29 March 2021.

Real Prevention. Fact sheet: The role of life skills training in substance abuse prevention programs, 2018. Available at: Accessed on 29 March 2021.

United Nations. UNODC World Drug Report 2020: Global drug use rising; while COVID-19 has far reaching impact on global drug markets, 2020. Available at: press/releases/2020/June/media-advisory---global-launch-of-the-2020-world-drug-report.html. Accessed on 29 March 2021.

Whitesell M, Bachand A, Peel J, Brown M. Familial, social, and individual factors contributing to risk for adolescent substance use. J Addict. 2013;2013:579310.

Ornell F, Moura HF, Scherer JN, Pechansky F, Kessler FHP, Diemen LV. The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on substance use: Implications for prevention and treatment. Psychiatry Res. 2020;289:113096.

Lalengzama C, Lalmuansangi H. Substance abuse and life skills education among youth in Lunglei District, Mizoram. SJMS. 2019;4:42-57.