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Socio-demographic correlates of deliberate self-harm among the patients of substance abuse disorders attending a Medical College of West Bengal

Aditya Prasad Sarkar, Subrata Sen, Prasenjit Ray, Amitava Chakraborty, Nandini Bhaduri, Asim Kumar Mallick.


Background: Deliberate self-harm (DSH) is a challenge to public health now-a-days. It is reported across several specific psychiatric illnesses like personality disorders, alcohol and substance abuse, and affective disorders.

Objectives: The objectives of the study were (i) to study the socio-demographic characteristics of the patients attending the Drug De-addiction Center of a Medical College in West Bengal and (ii) to determine the proportion of DSH committed by them and to find out the factors responsible for DSH among them.

Material and Methods: A descriptive study with cross-sectional design was conducted in the Drug De-addiction Center of Burdwan Medical College and Hospital, West Bengal. Informed consent was obtained from the participants before data collection. In total, 585 new patients were included in the study by complete enumeration. Data analysis was done using statistical software SPSS 20.0.

Results: All patients were male having majority in productive age group. Majority was employed and from nuclear families. Alcohol use was majority among the types of addiction. DSH was reported by 14.7% of cases. Employment status and alcohol addiction were statistically significant as factor for DSH.

Conclusion: The presence of risk for DSH should be assessed in drug addicts routinely along with motivation of family members to support the patients to prevent DSH.

Key words: Deliberate self-harm, substance abuse disorders, Medical College

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