“Low socio-economic status, frequent illiteracy among drug addicts”

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Drug addiction is a complex problem not only for individuals but also for the whole community. An effective strategy to counter this threat can only be traced after understanding the socio-economic profiles of the victims of the threat.

A study titled “Sociodemographic Profile of Male Drug Addicts Residing in the City of Mumbai, Maharashtra, India” was recently published in the International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health. The study was conducted among a sample of 330 male drug addicts at three drug rehab centers in Jogeshwari, Bandra and Borivali.

The study indicates that 35% of users are under 29 years old while 27% are between 30 and 39 years old. Only 18% were between 40 and 49 years old. The majority of those surveyed (53%) had attended secondary school, 19% were illiterate and only 7% had graduated.

Of the total respondents, 66% were Muslims, 32% were Hindus and only 2% were Christians. Almost 59% were married, 36% were unmarried, while 4% had separated from their life partner and 1% were living with a partner. As much as 44% of respondents were the sole breadwinners in the family, 25% earned with other family members and 31% depended on family for their bread and butter.

About 99% had used brown sugar, 77% had used charas, and 38% had used ganja, while only 1% had used LSD for their substance abuse practices, according to the study. He concluded that advanced age, illiteracy, low socioeconomic status and educational attainment were common observations among drug addicts.

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