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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 213-218

Pattern of substance use in the elderly: A hospital based, cross sectional study in a tertiary setting of North India

1 Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Mental Health, Pt B.D. Sharma PGIMS, Rohtak, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Maharaja Agrasen Medical College, Agroha, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Shobhit Kumar Prasad
Department of Psychiatry, Maharaja Agrasen Medical College, Agroha, Haryana.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/MJBL.MJBL_13_21

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Background: There are many unique features related to substance abuse in the elderly, which is an underestimated problem in society. Objectives: A cross-sectional exploratory study was conducted in a North Indian tertiary care setting to assess the pattern of substance use in the elderly. Materials and Methods: Fifty cases were included in the study via purposive sampling; a Drug Abuse Monitoring System pro forma and a semistructured pro forma designed to gather information on sociodemographic and substance use characteristics were used. Descriptive statistics were applied. Continuous variables were summarized as means and standard deviations and categorical variables as counts and percentages. Results: The mean age of the samples was 64.12 ± 4.54 years. Alcohol use was noted in 66% of the cases, tobacco use in 76%, opioid use in 16%, cannabinoid use in 4%, and sedative/hypnotic use in 4%. Majority of the cases were married, studied up to high school, self-employed, and living in joint family. Majority of the cases had initiation of substance use in young age due to peer pressure, and the reason for change in pattern were in majority mainly family issues and tolerance. Majority of the cases were brought by family members for treatment seeking. Conclusions: The issue of substance abuse in elderly population is underestimated, and studies are scarce in finding the exact prevalence in the society.

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