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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 157-163

Alcohol use among school-going adolescent boys and girls in an industrial town of Assam, India


1 Department of Zoology, Duliajan College, Duliajan, Assam, India
2 Regional Medical Research Centre for Northeast, Dibrugarh, Assam, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Beauty Mahanta
Department of Zoology, Duliajan College, Dibrugarh - 786 602, Assam
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.183784

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Background: Some people in Northeast India prepare rice-based alcoholic drinks in the household. People use these drinks in religious and social functions, and these are taken even in the presence of parents and elders. Easy access to illicit substances in industrial towns and lack of social inhibition for intake of homemade alcohol might increase the vulnerability of youth to these habits. Objective: To estimate the prevalence of alcoholic drink user among school-going adolescent students in an industrial town of Assam. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was designed to collect the data using a predesigned questionnaire. Personal interview was conducted to collect the data about pattern of alcohol use, type of alcoholic drinks they use, duration, and information about parents and peer. Data were analyzed using Epi-info 17 and Statistical Package for Social Sciences-17.0 (Chicago, USA, SPSS Inc.). Results: About 36% out of 1285 students have tasted/used homemade alcoholic drinks (HADs) and 12.3% used commercially available alcoholic drinks (CADs). Significantly higher numbers (P < 0.001) of adolescent students (≥15 years) used CAD in comparison to children (<15 years). However, the number of younger students was higher in using HAD. Minimum age at first experience of CAD was 7 years and that of HAD was 4 years; the duration varied from 1 to 8 years and 1–15 years, respectively. Parent's behavior of taking tobacco and/or alcohol influenced the habit of their children. Father's habit was found to be associated with male offspring's habit of taking CAD. About 16% of the students used one or more substances along with alcohol. Conclusion: High percentage of adolescents in the industrial town of Assam use alcoholic drinks with a male preponderance. They taste alcoholic drinks at a very young age. Parent's indulgence in taking tobacco, alcohol, or both was found to influence higher intake by their offspring.



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