Smoking, drinking alcohol not ‘bad’: 63% youth surveyed
A public survey carried out by Sir Parshurambhau college titled ‘Perceptions and Patterns of Substance Consumption’ has revealed that 63% of the respondents did not perceive smoking and drinking alcohol as bad while 51% did not find anything different about smoking during social gatherings
A public survey carried out by Sir Parshurambhau college titled ‘Perceptions and Patterns of Substance Consumption’ has revealed that 63% of the respondents did not perceive smoking and drinking alcohol as bad while 51% did not find anything different about smoking during social gatherings. The survey was conducted by a team of 60 volunteers, which collated responses from 1,198 youths in the age group of 18 to 25 years. Of the 1,198 youths, 442 were females and 743 were males. PR and Solutions worked as a knowledge partner during the survey. The survey report was officially released at Lady Ramabai hall on August 8 during a programme attended by PMC commissioner Vikram Kumar, Muktangan Deaddiction centre director Mukta Puntambekar, Shikshan Prasarak Mandali president advocate SK Jain, coordinator Dr professor Sanjyot Apte, and chief researcher Pranav Pawar.
SP college development committee president Ashok Vaze said in his welcome address that it is very alarming to hear about drug addiction among the youth. “The problem is not limited to any college but the entire younger generation,” Vaze said.
Addressing the gathering, Kumar said, “This is a very sensitive challenge. The use of drugs, alcohol and smoking is increasing rapidly among the youth. The prevalence of these habits and addictions is not only limited to the legitimate group of youth but is also increasing in the still younger generation. It is necessary to find out the reasons why the younger generation is getting attracted to such habits and addictions.”
Puntambekar pointed out that the average age of addicts is decreasing. “Many young people today feel that addiction can relieve stress and depression, and bring happiness. They fall into addictions until they realise that these are misconceptions. Another addiction that needs to be talked about today is behavioural addiction which includes the internet, internet pornography, gaming, online habits etc. and which should be included in the next survey. The next step should be an action plan to create awareness about the side effects of these addictions,” she said.
Advocate SK Jain, chairman of the managing board of Shiksha Prasarak Mandali, said that there is a need to create more awareness among the youth about the ill effects of addiction not only on individuals but entire families. “Public awareness about this should start from school life itself,” Jain said.
While Pawar said that the problem is seen in youth from all socioeconomic backgrounds and a survey was necessary and the best way to involve youth of the same age group. While presenting the survey, prof Pradnya Kulkarni , faculty at psychology department informed that the rapid increase in bad habits and addiction among the youth is also reflected in media. During the past two years of Covid-19, there has been an increase in mental health problems among young people. “Depression, uncertainty, anxiety, loneliness and boredom are fuelling addiction. Keeping these issues in mind, in this survey, an attempt was made to find out the youth’s attitude towards addictions, the habits and extent of addiction among the youth, the reasons behind it and the socioeconomic factors contributing to it.”