Author(s): Chaturvedi HK, Mahanta J
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An epidemiological study on substance use was carried out to assess the prevalence and pattern of tobacco, alcohol, and opium being used commonly in ethnographic diverse population of Arunachal Pradesh, India. Representative sample of 5135 people age ≥10 years were interviewed to collect information about their habit of substance use. Over all, prevalence of substance use was 30.9% tobacco (22.8% chewers and 12.1% smokers), 30% alcohol, and 4.8% opium, which vary across location, gender, race, age, education, and occupation. Though tobacco and alcohol was commonly used among all the tribes, but high alcohol use among Tangsa and Tutsa tribes reflects strong cultural belief. Religiously, opium use was low among Christian and Hindu at lower (<1000 m) altitude, but high among Buddhist, Indigenous, and Hindu living at higher altitude. Among males, high multivariate rate ratio of opium users was seen among the population of high altitude (9.1). Moreover, it was also high among Singpho (7.1) and Khamti (9.7) tribes living in low altitude area, which shows the strong geo-ethnographic influence. Average age at initiation of alcohol use (12.4 years) was significantly lower than tobacco (17.6 years), and opium (23.3 years) indicate social acceptability of alcohol drinking at early age. Use of multiple substances and high prevalence of opium express the alarming situation of substance misuse in the region. Besides few limitations, varied results of socio-cultural and ethnic influences recalls integrated approach to break the traditional belief associated with alcohol and drug abuse from the society.
This article was published in Drug Alcohol Depend
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy