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Prevalence and determinants of substance use among indigenous tribes in South India: Findings from a tribal household survey
Jiji, K. M.
Mercy, V. T.
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
Background: Indigenous populations have higher substance use than non-indigenous populations. Current evidence on indigenous substance use is largely derived from national household surveys, while there are no specifically designed, culturally specific methodological studies available to determine the prevalence of substance abuse among the indigenous tribes. The present study examined the prevalence and predictors of alcohol use, smoking, and betel quid chewing among indigenous tribes in South India. Method: We conducted a cross-sectional population-based random survey of 2186 tribal households in the Wayanad District, Kerala. A self-prepared, pilot-tested structured interview schedule was used to collect information on sociodemographic variables and substance use. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to examine the sociodemographic predictors of substance use. Results: The overall prevalence of current alcohol use, current smoking and daily betel quid use was 17.2%, 18.8% and 47.6% respectively. Consistently, male gender (alcohol use OR = 13.55; smoking OR = 3.42; betel quid use OR = 1.65), increasing age (OR = 1.32; OR = 1.01; OR = 1.03), Paniya tribe status (OR = 2.24; OR = 1.39; OR = 5.38) and employment status being working (OR = 2.07; OR = 1.77; OR = 1.26) increased the risk of alcohol use, smoking and betel quid chewing. Furthermore, having ‘no formal education’ was associated with smoking (OR = 1.35), and betel quid chewing (OR = 3.27). Conclusion: Substance use was high among the indigenous tribes. The male gender, increasing age, Paniya tribe and working status significantly influenced alcohol use, smoking and betel quid chewing. The results underscore the need for indigenous specific de-addiction policies and programmes, alongside a consideration of the critical sociodemographic predictors.
Alcohol use , Smoking , Betel quid , Indigenous population , Tribes , South India
Sadath, A., Jose, K., Jiji, K. M., Mercy, V. T., Ragesh, G. and Arensman, E. (2021) 'Prevalence and determinants of substance use among indigenous tribes in South India: Findings from a tribal household survey', Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. doi: 10.1007/s40615-021-00964-2
© 2021, W. Montague Cobb-NMA Health Institute. Published by Springer Nature Switzerland AG. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. The final authenticated version is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40615-021-00964-2