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
Yesterday ,research work carried out by our team was quoted by Hindustan times highlighting the substance use pattern among the students in the city
57% male college students in city into substance abuse’
Vishav Bharti, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, October 08, 2013
First Published: 21:06 IST(8/10/2013)
Last Updated: 21:41 IST(8/10/2013)
More than 50% of the male college students in Chandigarh are into substance abuse, including alcohol,
smoking and tobacco chewing. The fact has come to the fore in a study conducted by department of internal
medicine of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 (GMCH-32).
The study titled ‘prevalence, pattern and familial effects of substance use among the male college students -a
north Indian study’ was published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research.
For the study, a total of 256 male college going students were interviewed from different colleges. The study
found that 57% students were into substance abuse.
As far as the nature of the substance is concerned, the study found that alcohol tops the chart with 54% use.
It was followed by smoking with 27%, tobacco chewing 8%, cannabis 7%, opiate use 3% and solvent use
In this study, none of the students reported use of cocaine, amphetamine, sedatives or heroin. No student
reported injections as a source of drug abuse.
Highlighting the frequency of the use, the study found 49% of the users were using the substance on daily
basis, while 23% used it on weekly basis.
While highlighting the reason of use, the study observed that 66% were using for relief from psychological
stress and easy availability was another common reason of substance abuse.
The study also suggested some lifestyle-related interventions in order to reduce the problem of substance
abuse. “There is an utmost need to educate and counsel young students regarding harmful effects of substance
abuse. Health education may be imparted in the school curriculum. Parents should also be educated on what
was the best way to discourage their wards against drugs,” it observed.
Tobacco chewing 8%
About 94% substance abusers spend their pocket money on buying substance of their choice. 9% reported
that they had started using substances before attaining the age of 10. 97% were aware about the ill-effects of
substance abuse. 48% said they had tried to stop using substances at some time or the other. 4% said they
had undergone counselling to get rid of substance.
Substance abuse by streams
What’s substance abuse
Substance abuse can simply be defined as a pattern of harmful use of any substance for mood-altering
purposes. Medline’s medical encyclopedia defines drug abuse as “the use of illicit drugs or the abuse of
prescription or over-the-counter drugs for purposes other than those for which they are indicated or in a
manner or in quantities other than directed.”
The complete article is available from
Prevalence,Pattern and Familial effects of substance use-A North Indian Study
News Link in Hindustan Times