Association of Cannabis Abuse with Psychiatric Morbidity Among The HTV Drivers of AJK
Objective: To assess the prevalence of cannabis abuse and its association with psychiatric morbidity among the Heavy Traffic Vehicle (HTV) drivers of Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK).
Study design: Cross sectional study design was used.
Subjects and Methods: One hundred and five HTV drivers working in different parts of the AJK were included in the analysis. Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST-10) was used to assess the presence and severity of cannabis abuse whereas psychiatric morbidity was assessed by using the General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12). Association of age, persistent night shift driving, marital status, psychiatric morbidity, number of working hours per week, number of leaves availed in last one month, worry about future, education, level of family income, contact with sexual workers and tobacco smoking was studied with the use of cannabis.
Results: A total of 105 drivers were screened via DAST-10, 26.6% had no signs of cannabis abuse while 73.4% had clinically significant level of abuse. Tobacco smoking, not worrying about the future, contact with the sexual workers and presence of psychiatric morbidity had significant association with the cannabis abuse when binary logistic regression analysis was done.
Conclusion: Our study analysis revealed a high prevalence of cannabis abuse among the HTV drivers of AJK. Drivers with co-morbid tobacco use and those in contact with the sexual workers should be screened on priority for the presence of substance use. Presence of psychiatric morbidity emerged as independent risk factor related to the cannabis use among the HTV drivers of AJK.