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Original Research

Perception of an Urban Primary Health Center medical and paramedical staff on substance abuse in the community: A cross-sectional study

Amit Nohwar, Veena Mulgaonkar, Maheshwari, Ravikant Singh, Priyanka Manghani.


Background: A recent World Health Organization estimate shows a burden of worldwide psychoactive substance use of around 2 billion alcohol users, 1.3 billion smokers, and 185 million drug users. Due to this increased trend of substance and alcohol abuse, it is necessary that healthcare providers catering to the needs of such an area take measures to help curb the menace by spreading awareness regarding negative effects of chemical dependency and to prevent overdose harm.

Objectives: The objective of this study is to gain an insight into the perception of an Urban Primary Health Center (PHC) medical and paramedical staff on substance abuse prevalent in the community.

Materials and Methods: This study was a cross-sectional study conducted among the staff of an urban non-governmental organization PHC - Doctors for You situated in Mankhurd. A total of 61 staff members were included in the study which was decided by means of convenient sampling. Staff was handed over a standard pre-tested questionnaire translated into Hindi.

Results: 51% agreed that substance abuse was a common problem in the community, whereas 47% strongly agreed that it was a common problem. 44% perceived that substance abuse is most common in the age group of 18–30 years, while 28% felt that the age group of 30–45 is common. Alcohol (97%) and tobacco (87%) were the most commonly abused substances. 74% perceived that men had a higher tendency to lean toward substance abuse while 23% felt that gender did not matter. Depression, poverty, and peer pressure were found to be the major predisposing factors for substance abuse.

Conclusion: There should be an integrated approach taken up by various health-care providers to curb the menace, by helping addicts in de-addiction and providing counseling services as well. In addition, we should also focus on skill development of these individuals to economically and socially rehabilitate them so as to not only provide means of income generation but also uplift their quality of life.

Key words: Substance Abuse; Chemical Dependency; Perception; Urban Primary Health Centre Staff

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