Drug abuse is a global phenomenon, affecting almost every country in the world, but its extent and characteristics differ from place to place. Illicit drug abuse not only affects the health and lives of individuals but also affects the political, social, and cultural foundation of all countries. Problems of drug dependence produce dramatic costs to all societies in terms of productivity, transmission of infectious diseases, family and social disorder, crime, and excessive utilization of health care.
The adolescent period involves exploring with new things along with an experience of physical, social, emotional and mental changes. However, with the growing magnitude of responsibilities, experiences and competition among young adult, the issue of risky behaviour that affects the health of adolescents has received immense attention. Substance use among people is one such risky behaviour that had emerged as a global concern. Substance use is defined as the use of harmful mood-altering substances like alcohol, illicit drugs, tobacco and others. Substance use turns health-abusive when taken at the repeated course, leading to deleterious health issues and impairments with the capacity to affect the body physically, mentally and socially.
Globally, the consumption of alcohol was alone attributable to more than 3 million deaths. Of this alcohol consumption-related death burden, India contributes a larger portion of 273,000 preventable deaths.
According to the report “Magnitude of substance use in India”, the use of harmful substances like opioids, inhalants, sedatives, injected drugs, and alcohol had increased at an alarming rate, especially among adult Indian men. In India, consumption of tobacco and alcohol has become common among adolescents, and in the case of tobacco consumption, the age of initiation was observed to be as low as 12 years. Smokeless tobacco usages have also become very popular in India owing to its easy availability and inexpensive price. Moreover, the use of both smokeless and smoked tobacco, alcohol and cannabis (a psychoactive drug) is widely prevalent among the adolescents residing in the Indian slums.