Shimona Kanwar, TNN | Oct 9, 2013, 12.54 PM IST
CHANDIGARH: Psychological stress is driving the youth of Chandigarh towards the consumption of
cannabis, and the numbers are more than the national average.
A study conducted by the department of community medicine at the Government Medical College and Hospital-32 (GMCH) found that cannabis usage among city males in the age group of 19-21 on a national scale was 3.9% of the total users, which was a little higher than the 3% reported among the current male users of the same age group in the general Indian population survey (with data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime).
The study – conducted among 256 randomly selected college-going male students in Chandigarh, with an objective of studying substance abuse pattern among them – included DAV-10, GMCH-32, government post-graduate colleges in Sector 46 and 11, and PU campus. Published in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, the study found that the prevalence among men aged 19-21 in city colleges was 52.7%, with law students on top (76.2%), followed by students from the arts stream (62.5%). Alcohol was the most commonly used substance (53.5%), followed by cigarettes (27.3%), tobacco (8.2%), cannabis (6.8%), opium (3.4%) and solvents (1.3%), with 49% of users doing it on a daily basis, and 23% doing it weekly.
Among the reasons cited for substance abuse, the topmost was relief from psychological stress (66%), followed by the easy availability of intoxicants(46.9%).
One of the authors, Dr Sandeep Singh Sarpal, said: “We were surprised to know the figures of cannabis users which have outnumbered the national average.”
The sample size of the students from different streams included engineering (92), medical (32), arts (24), and law (21), besides others