Reigniting an Old Debate: Does Substance Abuse Exist among Medical Students in a Tertiary Care Center of Kolkata during COVID-19 Pandemic? A Cross-sectional Descriptive Study
Debasmita De, Kaushik Mukhopadhyay, Bikramjit Barkondaj, Chandan Chatterjee
Drug, Eastern India, Medical students, Substance abuse
Citation Information :
De D, Mukhopadhyay K, Barkondaj B, Chatterjee C. Reigniting an Old Debate: Does Substance Abuse Exist among Medical Students in a Tertiary Care Center of Kolkata during COVID-19 Pandemic? A Cross-sectional Descriptive Study. Bengal Physician Journal 2021; 8 (3):67-71.
Background: Substance abuse and its associated problems are a global concern. Substances, such as tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, and various allopathic drugs have been widely abused by students for various reasons despite their known ill effects.
Aim and objective: Prevalence and pattern of substance abuse among the medical students in a medical college of Kolkata during coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Material and methods: It is a hospital-based, cross-sectional study. This is carried out in ESI-PGIMSR, ESIC Medical College and Hospital, Joka, Kolkata. Data were collected after obtaining due consent from the Institutional Ethics Committee of our institute. Students pursuing MBBS constitute the study population. A structured questionnaire created by Google forms, designed, and validated in-house was circulated online to obtain the information.
Results: Details of the demographic pattern showed 72 of them were female students and the rest were male and their age group varied between 21 and 23 years. Thirty-four of them were staying in the rural area whereas the rest were urban pupils. Most of the participation came from 1st-year students (83) and the least came from final year (4th or 3rd Prof Part 2) students. The number of participants was only 10. A significant statistical association was found between male gender and marijuana abuse (p = 0.043), and male gender with smoking (p = 0.002). The association of the status of being a hostelite with marijuana abuse (p = 0.015), alcohol abuse (p = 0.065), and with smoking (p = 0.012) was also found to be statistically significant.
The prevalence of smoking and marijuana abuse was observed to progressively increase from the 1st year (3.61%) to the final year (smoking=40%, marijuana=50%).Conclusion: Further research is needed from Eastern India to understand patterns of substance use among medical students, to identify important determinants, and reinforce protective factors.
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