A survey by Baya Karve Womens Study Centre shows an increase in substance abuse among women in recent years. The survey shows that stress had driven women,mostly in the 31to 40 years age bracket,to smoking,alcohol,anti-depressants or sleeping pills.
The study was based on data collected from 371 women in the age group of 18-60 who underwent de-addiction therapy at one of the four de-addiction centres in the city,Muktangan De-Addiction Centre,Manasvardhan De-Addiction Centre,Krupa Foundation and Anandvan De-Addiction Centre.
The women covered in the survey had taken treatment for de-addiction between 2005 and 2011.
Anuradha Karkare,programme co-ordinator at Krupa Foundation,said age of women patients visiting the centre for de-addiction has come down from 40s to 30s in the past two to three years. Karkare attributes the rise in such cases to changing lifestyle,easy availability of alcohol and drugs and women having more powers of earning and spending. At any given time,the centre has around 10 women patients taking treatment for addiction that mostly lasts three months. Ninety per cent of these women are married and earn a good salary, said Karkare.
From 1999 to 2011,261 women had de-addiction treatment at Krupa Foundation.
On the positive side,Karkare said it has been observed that husbands of such women are extremely supportive and are the ones to enroll their wives for de-addiction programmes and conduct regular follow ups.
As per the survey,almost 28.57 per cent of total cases were women aged between 31 and 40 years. Most of these women started drinking or smoking with their husbands and then got addicted. On an average,23.45 per cent of the women were addicted to alcohol and substance abuse for a period of one year to five years.
The idea behind the survey was to raise awareness on this problem and how imperative de-addiction was, said Mrinalini Chitale,chairperson,Baya Karve Women’s Study Centre.
At Muktangan De-addiction Centre,40 per cent of the total patients comprises women who are aged between 31 years to 40 years . The primary reason for these women being stressed and falling prey to various addictions says Mukta Awachat Puntambekar,project director of the centre,is women suppressing their problems and emotions. These days,women feel that crying will make them look weak. They dont even discuss worries. She adds that in most such cases at the centre,husbands do not have time for wives and children are in their growing years and the women face a vacuum.
Interestingly,according to the Baya survey,48.63 per cent of the total 371 cases are housewives. Around 54.98 per cent are married and 11.59 per cent are divorced. While unmarried or single women taking treatment for addiction are 19.6 per cent,widows make for 9 per cent of the total cases.
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