Introduction: Social and familial stigma and prejudices make treatment-seeking difficult in women substance abusers. An analysis of various social, familial, personal, and other correlates of the treatment seekers can help in an appropriate understanding of the problem and can help in a better assessment, management and prevention of this problem.
Aim: To study the socio-demographic and clinical profile of women attending a de-addiction centre in north eastern Uttar Pradesh, India.
Design and Methodology: Out of the entire charts registered in the de-addiction unit of the psychiatry department of Sir Sunderlal hospital, Institute of Medical Science, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. The chart review of women substance abusers was undertaken.
Results: The results indicated that in a period of two years 42 females had sought treatment typically the subjects were more than 21 years of age (76%), urban (69%), married (88.3%), belonging to nuclear family (76%), working (67%), illiterate (50%), and belonging to MSES (82%). The common substances were tobacco 75%, opioids 14.3%, cannabis 7.1%, and alcohol 2.6%. The mean age at onset of substance use was 33.5 years. The common factors associated with initiating use were pain, iatrogenic and positive family history of substance use (60%).
Conclusions: The results suggest that the development of substance dependence in women is a combination of medical, personal, and social vulnerability factors, including the illicit prescriptions.
Key words: Women, Substance abuse, Co morbidity