A nine-year-old boy was recently admitted to Lord Mahavira civil hospital for de-addiction, after his mother found him addicted to fluid usage that is used by the mechanics to fix punctures in tyres.
The kid's mother, a resident near Baba Than Singh Chowk who wished her name not to be published, said her son is a student of Class 1. "He used to fall asleep for several hours after coming from school and also complained of giddiness. He kept mum on the reason behind the problem. One day, I found a bidi in his pocket and asked him strictly about what he was into, then he admitted that used to inhale the fluid used for fixing tyre puncture,"she said.
The boy's mother told that he learnt it from his friends in the locality. "He used to demand `10 everyday, and also lacked appetite,"she said.
When contacted, the psychiatrist at the de-addiction centre of the civil hospital, Dr Vivek Goyal, though admitted that the boy was admitted there, but refused to share any detail.
Head of the psychiatry department, Guru Teg Bhadur Hospital, Dr Paramjeet Singh Khurana said, "Such sort of addiction is called solvent abuse, which includes whitener, petrol, iodex, shoe polish or fluids used to fix tyre puncture. These are very toxic and addictive. Once a child uses such a solvent, it makes him psychoactive."
Dr Khurana said, "The main reason behind children falling prey to such drugs is peer influence. Most of the times, the children are introduced to such drugs by peer groups. But at times, loneliness or not getting enough attention, or broken family stress also result in drug addiction."
Dr Rajeev Gupta, psychiatrist at Manas Foundation, said that the kids from lower income group use such addictives. The kids at the railway platforms can be seen under the influence of such addictives. I think government should take stringent action and should ban the sale of such products to the children strictly."
Signs of drug addiction
Sudden change in sleep pattern which means a kid either sleeps too much or too less.
Lack of appetite
Kid develops irritability and doesn't sit with family members.
Unnecessary or unexplained aggression.
Kid demands money or starts stealing money.
School performance goes down.
Child starts spending more time in toilets.
Epilepsy or kids' eyes appear heavy.
Child using more fluids like whiteners.