The Indian Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 66, Issue 4, pp 557–567 | Cite as

Substance abuse : A pediatric concern

  • Dilip R. Patel
  • Donald E. Greydanus
Symposium : Behavioural Pediatrics-II


Use of alcohol, tobacoo, and other drugs is a worldwide problem and affects many children and adolescents. The use of opiates, cannabis, tobacco, and alcohol have been well recognized for centuries in India.Abuse of alcohol is widespread in college campuses. In the United States, in 1997,54.3% of high-school students had used an illicit drug by the time they entered 12th grade. In India the use of drugs and alcohol within the context of religious beliefs and local traditions has been historically documented. Children & adolescents are exposed to alcohol, cannabis products, and tobacco product. Several risk factors and protective factors have been identified. A screening psychosocial history is the most useful tool to identify non-specific indicators of substance abuse. In India the use of pan masala, and home brewed products containing marijuana and alcohol have special significance. Pan masala is shown to have carcinogenic, genotoxic, and clastogenic properties. The pediatrician can play a vital role in the appropriate recognition and early referral.

Key words

Substance abuse Pan masala, Marijuana 


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Copyright information

© Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics and Human DevelopmentMichigan State University, Kalamazoo Center for Medical StudiesKalamazooUSA

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