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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 75

Substance use among outdoor treatment-seeking patients with mental illness: A case–control study from a tertiary care hospital of northern India

1 Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Savitri Neuromind Care, Mahavir Nagar, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mona Srivastava
36/2 HIG, Kabir Nagar Colony, Durgakund, Varanasi - 221 005, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_97_17

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Background: Substance abuse and mental disorder often coexist and may cause several consequences in sociooccupational functioning and health care and management. Indian data are sparse in this area. Objectives: The aim of the study was to examine the sociodemographic profile, pattern, and prevalence of alcohol and substance use among person suffering with mental illness and to compare with those without mental illness. Methods: A total of 80 treatment-seeking patients with mental illness and 80 nontreatment seeking healthy accompanying persons were assessed for current substance use. Mental illness was screened using Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders and the diagnosis was made as per DSM IV, semi-structured sociodemographic pro forma was also applied. The data collected were analyzed using the Chi-square and Student's t-test. Results: Substance use was found 2.5 times higher among cases (56.2%) than controls (22.5%). Substance-using participants comprised mainly males belonging to rural residence. The substance using cases were more unmarried, less educated, poorer economically, and more nuclear family structures that substance-using controls. When compared with non-substance using cases, cases with substance use had more males than females and lower education. Although both groups were almost similar in term of marital status, family structure, residence, and socioeconomic status. Among both groups, most common substance use was tobacco, followed by alcohol and cannabis. Although all the substances were more prevalent among cases than controls. The prevalence of any substance use was highest among cases with psychotic disorder (77.3%), followed by unipolar depression (62.5%), bipolar affective disorder (41.7%), and anxiety disorders (21.4%). Tobacco and cannabis use was most prevalent among cases suffering with psychotic disorders, whereas alcohol use was most prevalent among cases suffering with unipolar depression. Conclusions: Mentally ill individuals are vulnerable to develop substance use, thus they are doubly jeopardized. The susceptibility of these individuals stem from lesser insight, need for stimulation, to decrease the anhedonia induced by psychoactive medicines and poor awareness hence this group of individuals has several health and social consequences; therefore, they require due attention. A better care, support, and education are needed for substance using patients with mental illness to improve their prognosis and also help in their appropriate rehabilitation.

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