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Preventing ‐substance abuse among street children in india: a literature review

Sharma Narayan

Background: The prevalence of street children has been escalating in most of the developing world and highest in India. The aim of the present study was to investigate strategies for the prevention of substance abuse among street children in India. Methods and Material: The literature review was based on 15 full text academic journal articles. The articles were screened, analysed and reviewed to draw findings and discussion for the study. Beside these, publications from government and private organisations were also included as grey literature.Results: The present study revealed that 10 % of the world’s children live on the streets in India and more than two third were boys. It was found that most of the street children abuse nicotine and alcohol. The major reason for the children to be on the streets was poverty and peer pressure, for substances abuse. Substance abuses damage the vital organs and respiratory, digestive, oral, facial and heart diseases were the common health effects. HIV/AIDS, STI, violence and crime were the major social effects of substance abuse. Thus, India ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and implemented Integrated Programme on Street Children in major cities of India. The programme works on health, education, shelter, nutrition and right of street children. Beside these, Modified Social Stress Model was implemented on prevention of substance abuse. Conclusions: Programmes on empowerment, employment, equality with culturally sound interventions are required to prevent street children and substance abuse in all parts of India.