National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India

The report of the National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India conducted by National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi sponsored by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has been submitted.

Country liquor (about 30%) and spirits (IMFL – Indian Made Foreign Liquor) (about 30%) are the predominantly consumed beverages in India. The prevalence of alcohol consumption is 17 times higher among men than women. Every third alcohol user in India needs help for alcohol-related problems.

States with high prevalence (more than 10%) of alcohol use disorders are Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, and Arunachal Pradesh. About 5.2% of Indians i.e. 5.7 crore people are estimated to be affected by harmful or dependent alcohol use.

Though bhang use is more common than ganja/charas, the prevalence of harmful/dependent use is proportionately higher for ganja/charas users. About 2.8% of Indians (3.1 Crore individuals) reported of having used any cannabis product within past 12 months (Bhang – 2% or 2.2 crore people; Ganja/Charas – 1.2% or 1.3 Crore people).

The Survey notes that access to treatment services for people affected by substance use disorders is grossly inadequate. Just about one in 38 people with alcohol dependence report getting any treatment. Only about one in 180 people with alcohol dependence report getting inpatient treatment/hospitalization for help with alcohol problems. Among people suffering from dependence on illicit drugs, one among 20 people has ever received inpatient treatment/ hospitalization for help with drug problems.

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