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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 369-372

Factors influencing substance use among transgender individuals in India: Knowledge gap and way forward

Department of Psychiatry, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (Deemed-to-be University), Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Karthick Subramanian
Department of Psychiatry, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (Deemed-to-be University), Puducherry
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_126_21

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Background: Due to various psychological and psychosocial factors, transgender (TG) individuals suffer from psychiatric disorders including substance use disorders (SUDs). Although factors influencing mental illness and stigma in TG persons have been identified, the literature is scarce regarding the factors influencing substance abuse among the TG population. The present review identifies the burden and risk factors for substance use among TG individuals in India. Methods: An electronic search of databases such as MEDLINE, ProQuest, and Google Scholar yielded 11 relevant Indian research articles. The factors moderating substance abuse among TG persons were reviewed. Results: Studies reveal that alcohol and tobacco use disorders are the most common SUDs among TG persons in India, apart from illicit drug use. Depressive symptoms, anxiety, unemployment, and discrimination in various spheres of life were associated with elevated substance use among TG individuals. Not being married, higher income, often out with family and friends, having more sexual partners, and interpersonal violence with partner predicted harmful and illicit patterns of substance use. Conclusion: Various demographics, sexual relationship characteristics, and psychosocial factors tend to influence substance abuse patterns. Future studies are needed to explore the influence of various physical, psychosexual, psychological, and psychosocial factors on the substance use patterns among TG persons in India.

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