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Substance Abuse Among Northeast Men 20% Higher than Other States: JNU Report

Guwahati, November 8, 2019:

A recent study has revealed that the prevalence of substance abuse among Northeast Indian men, such as smoking, smokeless tobacco products, alcohol – is 20 percent more than the rest of India.

The study was conducted by scholars Nandita Saikia and Benjamin Debbarma of the renowned Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi.

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Saikia and Debbarma, from JNU’s Study of Regional Development, School of Social Sciences, mined data from the fourth round of the National Family Health Survey 2015–2016 (NFHS-4) to sample 14,555 men in the 15 to 54-year age group in eight Northeast Indian states.

The percentage prevalence was 50.03 percent for India as a whole, for non-northeast states it is 50.37 percent and in the states of northeast India 70.83 percent of the men in the 15 to 54-year age group indulge in substance abuse, reports the FIT.

The report also shows that 44 percent of men aged below 19, are also partaking in substance abuse. Meanwhile, although Assam saw a lower number of alcohol consumers, the frequency of taking alcohol among users is highest in the State.

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However, the researchers feel that education and participation in activities, such as sports and music, can go a long way in curbing substance abuse in 8 states.

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