Mounting stress among youths because of academic pressure and parental expectations is making children drug addicts.
Majority of drug addicts are youths and a significant number of them are schoolchildren. The state government has announced to set up a drug de-addiction centre in every district, where drug addicts could get counselling.
As per a survey conducted in 2011 by a non-governmental organisation, nearly 25% of Shimla school children were found drug addicts.
Himachal Pradesh Voluntary Health Association (HPVHA) had conducted a survey in 2013 and found that the availability of drug items especially cigarette and even banned 'gutkha' was easy for school children.
According to health activist Lalit Sharma, "The HPVHA has conducted several studies and it has found out that initially school children start smoking for fun and later they become drug addicts."
Head of psychiatric department of Indira Gandhi Medical College Dr Ravi Sharma said that most of the youths, including children had been turning up at the hospital to come out of drug addiction. "Parents should give more time to their children and understand their needs and worries. When their feeling has been ignored by parents, they turn up to drug," said he.
Another doctor in the department also revealed that majority of schoolchildren particularly girls were also coming up for counselling. He said it was not like that these were the only reasons for drug abuse amongst youths, but some of them use drug as an 'enjoyment' and later get addicted to it.
For drug abuse, several experts have being blaming the easy availability of drugs and other products used as drug. After the police have taken initiative to reduce the drug menace, drug addicts were using some medicines. Police have registered over 300 cases so far under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
This year so far police have seized 9.1 gram of heroin, 33,756 capsules and 9902 tablets used as psychotropic drugs. Police also seized 9 gram of cocaine, 164 gram of smack and 41 gram of brown sugar. It also seized over 202 kg of charas, 3.82 kg of opium and 583 kg of poppy husk.
Cases under NDPS Act in HP in last 10 years
2014 300 (May 31)