Unaiza Niaz, Sofia S Siddiqui, Sehar Hassan, Haider Hussain, Salman Ahmed, Khawaja Rizwan Akhter.
A survey of psychosocial correlates of drug abuse in young adults aged 16-21, in Karachi: identifying `high risk` population to target intervention strategies.
Pak J Med Sci Jan ;21(3):271-7.

Objectives: To study the prevalence and psychosocial correlates of drug abuse among young adults aged 16-21 from upper socio-economic strata. The survey was conducted to identify certain psychosocial risk factors such as coping skills, independence/self-confidence, family communication, peer relationships and motivational factors for drug abuse among adolescents. Method: A cross-sectional survey was conducted, using a structured questionnaire with thirty-four close-ended questions, plus two open ended questions. Data was collected from different educational institutions located in Defence and Clifton areas of Karachi Pakistan. Researchers of this study collected the data and verbal consent was obtained from the participants. Results: A total of 300 students were interviewed. 192 were males and 108 females. 51% of students were studying at school level and 47% at college level. 34% reported drug abuse out of which 21% were males and 13% were females. 52% reported cigarette smoking out of which 33% were male and 19% females. 17% of drug abusers, parents were divorced or separated. 31% reported their best friends consume drugs out of which 22% were drug abusers themselves. A total of 35% of students reported their parents` indulgence in alcohol/ drug abuse. Among students who themselves abuse drugs 63% reported their parent`s indulgence in drugs. The most common drugs taken by students were Alcohol, Ecstasy and Hashih i.e. 37.9%. Highly significant positive correlations existed between drug abuse with parents` marital status as divorced or separated (p=.290). Significant differences (p< 0.001) were observed between abusers and non-abusers on sub-scales of coping skill, self-control, parental relations and peer relations. Highly significant negative correlations existed for high score on subscales of coping skill (-.344), self-control (-.332), peer relations (-.277) and parental relations (-.357) for drug abuse. Conclusion: There is a need for population-based studies to determine other correlates of drug abuse among young adults in Pakistan. Parents, teachers and public health agencies should be alert to this rising epidemic of drug abuse among the Pakistani youth

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