Background: Substance use appears to be increasing among children and adolescents, with an upward trend seen in recent surveys. Any substance abuse at this formative age is likely to interfere with the normal development and may have a lasting impact on the future life, along with affecting family and society.
Aims & Objectives: To study the demographic and clinical profile of adolescents seeking de-addiction treatment at a tertiary centre.
Materials and Methods: Retrospective structured chart review of adolescent substance abusers seeking treatment at a de-addiction centre between January 2012 and December 2013.
Results: The mean age of onset of addiction was 14.9years, with mean age of subjects being 17.8 years, 2.8 years was mean duration of dependence. Majority belonged to joint family (79%), with good social support (61.2%), urban background (50.7 %) and 47.8 % being school dropouts. The commonest substance of abuse was alcohol (41.8%), followed by opioids (40.3 %), tobacco (37.3%), cannabis (34.3 %), multiple substances (14.9 %), inhalants (6 %), benzodiazepines (6 %). The common reasons for initiation of substance use were peer pressure (52 %) and curiosity (48 %).
Conclusion: The common substance of abuse was alcohol, opioids, tobacco and cannabis. A small proportion were multiple substance users. Majority of the subjects belonged to joint family with good social support with the influential environmental determinant being peer substance use. Urgent preventive measures in schools seems the need of the hour.
Substance Abuse; Adolescent; Treatment Seeking; Drug Abuse