Tackling Youth Substance Misuse in Assam: Embedding ‘The Big Picture’ in Policy and Practice 

Professor Anna Madill 

School of Psychology, Faculty of Medicine & Health 

Relevant ESRC Discipline: Psychology 

The Indian government commissioned national survey on substance use 2016-17 recommends scaled-up treatment programmes, policy innovations and prevention interventions targeting young people.  The Assam State Report of the National Mental Health Survey of India 2017 also identifies adolescent substance misuse as an urgent public health problem and recommends working closely with rehabilitation services and improving public awareness.  The proposed project is timely because the Assam State Government is undertaking consultation on rehabilitation services and is under National Government remit to devise a State Mental Health Policy.  This project utilises an education package created through an ESRC grant on the lived experience of young Assamese people resisting and recovering from drug misuse.  Project activities are designed to (i) enhance the impact of this education package on policy, practice and behaviour; (ii) build user networks to develop impact further; and (iii) establish proof of concept for follow-up grants.  At policy level we seek to influence the development of the Assam State Mental Health and Rehabilitation Policies.  At Institutional level with strong user engagement, we will improve educational practices in healthcare and rehabilitation services, schools and colleges.  At behavioural level we aspire through a programme of work, to increase the social inclusion of civic engagement with and contribution to wealth-creation of young Assamese people struggling with drug misuse.