Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 284-292

Pattern and prevalence of substance use and dependence in the Union Territory of Chandigarh: Results of a rapid assessment survey

1 Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Biostatistics, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Debasish Basu
Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_327_16

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Background: Substance misuse is a matter of major public health concern in India. House-to-house survey, though an appealing method to generate population-level estimates, has limitations for estimating prevalence rates of use of illicit and rare substances. Materials and Methods: In this rapid assessment survey (RAS), respondent-driven sampling was used to recruit substance-using individuals from the field. Size of the substance-using population was estimated using the “benchmark-multiplier” method. This figure was then projected to the entire population of the Union Territory (U.T) of Chandigarh. Focused group discussions were used to study the perceptions and views of the substance users regarding various aspects of substance use. Results: Prevalence of any substance dependence in the U.T of Chandigarh was estimated to be 4.65%. Dependence rates on opioids, cannabinoids, and sedative hypnotics were found to be 1.53%, 0.52%, and 0.015%, respectively. Prevalence of injectable opioids was calculated to be 0.91%. Injectable buprenorphine was the most commonly used opioid, followed by bhukhi/doda/opium and heroin. A huge gap was found between the prevalence rates of substance-using population and those seeking treatment. Conclusion: RAS can be a useful method to determine the prevalence of illicit and rare substances. Our survey shows that the use of substance including that of opioids is highly prevalent in the U.T of Chandigarh. The findings of this survey can have implications for policymaking.



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