• Social and Clinical Correlates of Stimulant Use Disorder (Mephedrone) in a Tertiary Mental Health Setting in Mumbai: A Pilot Exploratory Study

      Rao, S. Poornima; Kale, Vinayak Pandurang; Panigrahi, Sunilkumar; Krishna, Murali; Jones, Steven; Majgi, Sumanth Mallikarjuna; Bharath, D. U.; University of Chester
      Introduction: Increasing mephedrone use is a major public health concern in India. There are limited data on sociodemographic determinants and psychiatric comorbidity associated with stimulant use disorder (mephedrone) (SUD‑M) from India. Aim: The primary objective of this study was to report the clinical and social correlates of SUD‑M among those presenting to specialist mental health services in Mumbai, India. Methods: Patients with SUD-M were recruited from a clinical setting. Standardized culturally validated assessments were carried out to obtain information about sociodemographics and mental health: comorbid psychopathology Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, and Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory‑2 for personality traits and a clinical assessment for diagnoses of mental disorders. Results: Seventy patients (aged between 21 and 30 years, of whom 58 men) with SUD-M consented. SUD‑M was more common among young men from the low socioeconomic position. The most common reasons for choosing mephedrone over other substances were better high from the drug and peer pressure. There were no associations between sociodemographic factors with the severity of SUD-M. Around 40% of the patients with SUD-M had psychiatric comorbidity. Psychotic disorders and anxiety symptoms were most common. Family history of substance use, comorbid substance use, and comorbid psychiatric disorders were directly related to the severity of SUD-M. Conclusions: This was a cross‑sectional study with a relatively smaller sample size of self‑nominating participantslimiting the generalizability of findings to a wider population. Therapeutic implication of this finding is that prompt attention and treatment of the comorbid psychiatric disorder is essential while treating patients with SUD-M. Further population-based studies are recommended for a better understanding of the burden of SUD-M.