These boys, who work as rag-pickers, were spotted by the Amritsar police at different locations in the city, including the railway station, on Monday. They were brought to the office of police commissioner Jatinder Singh Aulakh.
When the police commisioner told them that this habit can cause damage to their physical and mental health, they showed keenness to leave this habit and wanted some “medicine” to get rid of it. The police then brought them to the de-addiction centre.
Talking to Hindustan Times, one of these boys, aged 12, said, “Initially, I used to smoke but later some people in Delhi made me inhale an adhesive a couple of times and I become habitual. There are many who inhale it. We just pour few drops of an adhesive into a small polythene bag and then inhale it through mouth and nose”.
Asked what kind of relief he got from glue sniffing, he said, “It just relaxes me. Gives me a kick, a kind of pleasure.”
Similarly, another boy (15), who stays at the local railway station, said, “I developed this habit after watching others sniffing glue. We didn’t know whether it was good or bad but we felt relaxed after it. Now we want to quit this habit”.
Police commissioner Aulakh said, “We are trying to reach out to people who have fallen prey to any kind of addiction. We have come across all kinds of cases wherein addicts use different things to get pleasure. These boys are the latest in this category”.
Talking to HT, Dr PD Garg, incharge of the Swami Vivekanand Drug De-addiction Centre, said, “The police brought eight young boys, aged between 12 to 16, to the centre. It was strange that most of these boys had a habit of sniffing glue. One boy was doing it since long and the others had just started it a couple of months ago”.
He said, “We cannot call it a drug addiction but definitely they are addicted to this habit and it gives them pleasure. If not stopped, they have the potential to graduate into serious addictions involving drugs. We have admitted them and also gave them medicines so that their addiction can be curbed”.
Dr Garg said, “We have seen this kind of habit for the first time. Inhaling adhesives is not intoxicating, but if these boys are not stopped, this habit can definitely harm their chest or even brain”.
He said these boys seemed to be under stress that might have led them to getting into such a habit. He said that five of these boys have been discharged after giving them medicine while three the remaining three are still at the centre.