Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 331-335

Time trends of cannabis use among treatment-seeking individuals at government de-addiction centers across India over a period of 7 years


1 Department of Psychiatry and National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, WHO Collaborating Centre on Substance Abuse, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India; International Programme in Addiction Studies, Master of Science in Addiction Studies, King's College London, UK, University of Adelaide, Australia, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
2 Department of Psychiatry and National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, WHO Collaborating Centre on Substance Abuse, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Yatan Pal Singh Balhara
Department of Psychiatry and National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, WHO Collaborating Centre on Substance Abuse, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0253-7176.185961

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Background: Cannabis continues to be the most commonly used illicit psychoactive substance globally. The National Survey in India conducted in the year 2004 also reported it to be the most commonly used illicit substance in the country. Furthermore, it was reported to be the second most commonly used psychoactive substance by the treatment seekers at de-addiction centers in the country. Objectives: To assess time trends of cannabis use among treatment-seeking individuals at government de-addiction centers across India over a period of 7 years. Materials and Methods: The study utilized data collected through Drug Abuse Monitoring System across India. The data of treatment seekers from de-addiction centers established under the Drug De-addiction Program, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and supported by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India (122 in number) across the country were analyzed. Results: A total of 107,469 individuals sought treatment from government de-addiction centers over the 7 years (2007–2013) period. With the exception of an aberration for the year 2012, there has been a steady decline in the proportion of treatment seekers who are not current cannabis users. A significantly greater proportion (Chi-square: 586.30, df: 1, P < 0.001) of individuals with current cannabis use alone or along with tobacco (20.4%) tend to have a co-morbid psychiatric disorder as compared to treatment seekers with current use of substances other than cannabis (6.1%). Conclusions: It is important to focus on cannabis in clinical service delivery and research in the country.


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