Substance use and risky sexual behavior among the middle and late adolescent migrant college students in Shillong: a study in northeast, India

Temsumeren Longkumer

Annually, many students in the middle and late adolescent age group come to Shillong for pursuing their under graduate level studies from various parts of north-eastern states of India because the head quarter of North Eastern Hill University is located in Shillong. Moreover, many schools and colleges which were established by British and Irish missionaries since the 19th century stands like beacons even today after hundreds of years. The “adolescent migrant college students” if they can be so called, contribute to lot to the local economy, but they also bring with them certain behavioral ills and cultural trends which has a negative impact on their students life. These adolescent migrant college students come from societies where drinking of alcohol and consumption of betel nut with tobacco is a part of their tradition, folklore and culture, but conversely their states are “dry states” where selling of alcohol and tobacco is banned by law with pressure from the church and other socio-religious organizations. This “contradiction” has its bearing on them the moment they come to Shillong which is a “wet state” where alcohol, tobacco of various brands is available every nook and corner which offers a veritable attraction, may be even cultural shock to the adolescent. Coupled with the fact that most of these adolescent migrant college students stays in hostel or rented house or as paying guest far from their prying eyes of their parents and have easy access to any substances and girls, in a society where mixing between the two sexes is not considered a taboo and “dating is a fun thing to do” and often encouraged by peers and elders. The lethal brew of unhindered and unrestrained access to substances and women is such a heady concoction that pre-marital sex is a natural progression, often with disastrous consequences.

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Presented in Poster Session 2

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