Adolescence is defined as the life stage between childhood and
adulthood. It begins with biological maturation (puberty), when young
people must accomplish developmental tasks and develop a sense of
personal identity. It ends when young people achieve self-sufficient
adulthood as defined by society. Adolescence period is the greatest
window of vulnerability for risk consequences across the life span.
Such risk taking, thrill seeking, and reckless behaviours have
received a great deal of attention in research particularly in the
last decade. Included in this phenomenon of increased risk taking are
behaviours, such as minor criminal activity, sexual activity, alcohol
consumption and substance use (Bingham et al, 1994).
Substance use is one of the three major health risks that can lead to
devastating health consequences for adolescents. Substance use can
lead to illness and even death, and it is also related to unsafe sex,
accidents, violence and loss of productivity. Substance abuse refers
to the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances. Repeated
and prolonged or heavy use of such substances can lead to dependence,
which is characterised by continued use of the substance despite
physical and psychological problems, strong desire to take substance,
tolerance, withdrawals, loss of control and neglect of other
activities and interest (WHO, 2001).
Recent years have seen a growth, in the number of studies of substance
abuse and dependence focussing on prevalence, risk factors,
co-morbidity, course and outcome. Among commonly used substances by
adolescents, inhalants seems to be the least studied one and there are
very few studies addressing issues of dependence , psychiatric
co-morbidity and impact of inhalant use on other domains. In
developing countries like India, situation is not different.
There are various studies in order to understand craving and relapse
and evaluate the efficacy of medications.
Inhalants are common drugs of abuse in adolescents. Based on this
background, my research is formulated to understand addictive
behaviour among adolescents. We will also focus on various social
factors associated with addictive behaviour among Indian Adolescent
Dr. Shobhit Jain AIIMS, New Delhi India