Manipal Journal of Medical Sciences


Introduction: Adolescents are vulnerable group of individuals forming a significantly large proportion of the Indian population. In a bid to satisfy queries and curiosities, adolescents seek various sources for answers. The sources could be highly unreliable at times, but choice is largely made based on convenience and maintenance of anonymity. Aim and objectives: The study was aimed at assessing the sources of information sought by adolescents for various queries and also the impact it had on substance abuse. Methodology: A total of 222 adolescents (age range 10-19 years; mean age= 14.5years) were included in the study. A pre-structured and pretested questionnaire and the CRAFFT questionnaire for adolescents for screening for substance abuse were used as study tools. Results: Adolescents were categorized as early (10-13 yrs), middle (14-16 years) and late teens with a majority i.e. 47% residing in urban areas. Internet facility was unavailable to 39%, but the remaining had access at home, school, cyber or to their mobile phones. Internet was preferred choice for male and female adolescents alike for accessing information on puberty and reproductive health, as it helped maintain confidentiality. Significant association for substance abuse was seen with late teens (p