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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 117-121

A study of tobacco and substance abuse among mentally ill outpatients in a tertiary care general hospital

1 Department of Psychiatry, Dr. BSA Hospital, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Medical, BSES Yamuna Power Limited, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, PGIMER and Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Smita N Deshpande
Department of Psychiatry, PGIMER and Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Park Street, New Delhi - 110 001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-8990.193431

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Background: The comorbidity of substance abuse and mental disorder is known to exist and may cause many diagnostic, prognostic, and management difficulties. Indian data are sparse in this area. Objectives: The aim of the study was to identify the prevalence and pattern of substance abuse in psychiatric outpatients and to examine the relation between demographic variables and drug abuse pattern. Materials and Methods: Medical records of the patients attending psychiatry outpatient clinic at a tertiary care general hospital over a 3-month period were reviewed. Information was obtained from medical chart and Drug Abuse Monitoring Scale pro forma about substance abuse. Psychiatric diagnosis made by a qualified psychiatrist according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition diagnostic criteria, as recorded in the case record form, was used. Observation: The results revealed that 50.8% (half) of all psychiatry outpatients were using one or more substances including tobacco in the last month prior to registration (1 month prevalence) and 28.35% were using substances at any time in their life prior to the last month (lifetime prevalence). Male patients had 6 to 8 times higher substance abuse than female patients. Tobacco and alcohol were found to be the most common substances of abuse, followed by cannabis. Part-time and full-time employed male patients consumed more alcohol and tobacco than unemployed patients. Conclusions: Substance abuse was common among mentally ill outpatients and could be the cause of various health hazards and hence requires due attention.

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