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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 143-148

Substance abuse and depression among auto-rickshaw drivers: A study from the national capital region of Delhi, India

1 Department of Psychology, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Medicine, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Narinder Pal Singh
Department of Medicine, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Vaishali, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/INJMS.INJMS_64_19

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Introduction: Auto-rickshaw driver is exposed to many kinds of risks owing to his profession, such as stressful occupational conditions, environmental pollution, and drug abuse such as smoking, tobacco, and alcohol use. The present study is an attempt to estimate the prevalence of substance abuse and depression among auto-rickshaw drivers and compare these with nonauto-rickshaw drivers. Subjects and Methods: A total of 120 participants were enrolled randomly in the study, i.e., 60 each from auto-rickshaw drivers and nonauto-rickshaw population. To fulfill the objective, methodology based on the test application of the Beck's Depression Inventory, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, and alcohol, smoking, and substance involvement screening test was used. A predesigned questionnaire was used that included information such as general health status, habits, addictions, and work experience. To establish statistical relationships between two or more random variables, the Pearson correlation coefficient was also calculated. Results: In the present study, significant high prevalence of tobacco and alcohol use was seen among auto drivers, 83.3% and 63.3% as compared to nonauto-rickshaw drivers (tobacco and alcohol, 46.6% and 46.1%, respectively). The prevalence of depression in auto-rickshaw drivers was 90% (mild-to-severe range) which was significantly high compared to nonauto-rickshaw drivers (60%). On the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, more than half of the auto-rickshaw drivers, i.e., 60%, had mild-to-moderate anxiety which was higher than nonauto-rickshaw (5%). Driving experience, age, and substance abuse (alcohol and tobacco use) showed a significant association with depression. Conclusion: This study demonstrated a high prevalence of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse in auto-rickshaw drivers. There was a positive correlation of depression with substance abuse (alcohol and tobacco), age, and work experience. This study will assist the psychologist to understand and treat the mental health issues among professional drivers.

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