DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_241_23 ISSN: 0972-6748

A case series of substance abuse among urban slum population during the COVID 19 pandemic

Sandeep Nallapu, Nirankush Borah, Shweta Gangurde, Swati Ghonge
  • General Medicine

The COVID 19 pandemic stuck the world already burdened with numerous diseases. The approach toward controlling the pandemic disturbed the healthcare delivery system and also aggravated the already existing problems of malnutrition, unemployment, economic inequalities, decreased routine immunization services, and substance abuse. Six individuals with multiple substance use histories were identified and in depth interviews were conducted in an urban slum under the field practice area of a medical college. Common features were identified and reported. The age of initiation of alcohol and tobacco use was found to be in the early adolescence period (10–14 years). Chronic substance abuse causes poor health, an economic burden on families, and domestic violence. Lack of self esteem due to unemployment, decreased social interaction, and multiple failed attempts at abstinence were the shared features among dependents. Measures employed during the COVID 19 pandemic to contain the virus have caused unanticipated adverse effects on health, finance, and social life. A holistic approach would play a pivotal role rather than reactionary and momentary interventions.

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