Original Research Article
Year: 2016 | Month: November | Volume: 6 | Issue: 11 | Pages: 13-16
Study on the Pattern of Substance Use among Street Children of the Age Group of 10-18 Years in Guwahati City, Assam
Pankaj Jyoti Barman1, Jutika Ojah2
1Post Graduate Trainee, 2Professor and HOD,
Department of Community Medicine, Gauhati Medical College, Assam, India.
Corresponding Author: Pankaj Jyoti Barman
Introduction: A large number of children live and work on the streets, a high proportion without any family support, particularly in the megacities of the developing world. It is estimated that more than 800000 street children exist in India. Guwahati, the Gateway of North east India has also been a part of this great hub of underprivileged street children for the recent years and substance use is increasing among them day by day.
Materials and methods: The present cross sectional study was conducted in different areas of greater Guwahati city, Assam from March, 2016 to August, 2016. Street children of the age group 10-18 years with substance use from areas near railway station, bus stands were interviewed with the help of pretested structured schedule and observation was done regarding the types and habits of substance use.
Results: Most of the street children (55%) with history of substance use belonged to the age group of 14-16 years. Gutkha was the most commonly used addictive substance (47.3%), followed by cigarette (39.5%). Majority of them (54.5%) were aware about ill effects of substance use.
Conclusion: Identification of root causes of the problem such as poverty and illiteracy are very much necessary to solve the problems of the street children. There should be provision of health and welfare services to street children with regard to health care, educational opportunities and employment. The government and non-government voluntary agencies should also come forward for rehabilitation of the street children.
Key words: Street children, Substance use.