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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

International Day against Drug Abuse: ‘Addiction among youths increasing fast’

ROAD TO RUIN: As per the NCRB data, 3,670 people ended their lives due to drug and alcohol addiction across the country in 2015.

lucknow Updated: Jun 26, 2019 15:19 IST
Rohit K Singh
Rohit K Singh
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
The trend surfaced in the latest edition of an analytical study by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) in 2015 on drugs and alcoholic addiction as one of the major causes of suicides.
The trend surfaced in the latest edition of an analytical study by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) in 2015 on drugs and alcoholic addiction as one of the major causes of suicides.(Representative image)
         

Adolescent addiction has surfaced as a big problem, with youngsters and teenagers walking down the road to ruin their after getting addicted to different drugs and psychotropic substances. Moreover, easy availability of different drugs is making school/ college students and young professionals more vulnerable to addiction.

The trend surfaced in the latest edition of an analytical study by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) in 2015 on drugs and alcoholic addiction as one of the major causes of suicides.

As per the data, 3,670 people ended their lives due to drug and alcohol addiction across the country in 2015, of which around 974 people, including 44 women, were between the age group of 18 and 30 years .

Similarly, suicides due to drug and alcohol addiction in those below 18 years of age were also reported with 64 such cases occurring across the country in 2015.

Moreover, at least 1494 victims including 50 women between 30 to 45 years, 894 people including 33 women between 45 and below 60 years of age and 244 people, including 9 women above 60 years of age, had ended their lives because of the same reason.

Talking about the trend, Suresh Singh Dhapola, founder of Nirvana rehabilitation centre in Lucknow said, “The cases of addiction among youngsters, particularly hostellers, are increasing at a very fast pace. Moreover, addiction is also increasing among college girls and young professionals”.

Dhapola said the trend showed that these youngsters were getting addicted to cannabis since it was easily available and economical too as compared to opium and other drugs commonly used among people above 35 years.

“The youngsters get addicted cannabis to such an extent that they ruin their lives by committing suicide or getting involved into crime to finance their daily dose,” he said.

“Easy availability of different drugs can be gauged from the fact that the amount of seizures are gradually growing with the years. The enforcement agencies are merely able to intercept and seize less than 25% of drugs smuggled across the country,” said a senior police official previously associated to the enforcement agency dealing in drug control.

Citing a gruesome tale of a 13-year-old boy held with a stolen scooty in Lucknow, a senior state police official said the boy was shunned by his family and thrown out of school after he become a drug addict and often get involved into crime to finance his daily dose of drugs.

He said the boy’s father, who owned a grocery shop, had disowned him and wanted him to remain away from the family, as his son lifted vehicles, stole ornaments from home and often borrowed money from his neighbours, relatives and friends. He said this troublesome teenager became addicted to drugs at a tender age and started causing harm to his family. He attacked his mother with a rod and beat his sister. And he could go to any length to get money for drugs.

Manini Srivastava, a psychologist, said parents themselves had to set an example by not getting involved in smoking or consuming alcohol in front of their adolescent and teenage children.

“Parents need to monitor their adolescent and teenage children very closely. Parents have to spend time with their children and make them aware them of things,” she said.

HAUL OF DRUGS AND PSYCHOTROPIC SUBSTANCES GOES UP BY 59%

Seizures of drugs and psychotropic substances by the Lucknow unit of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), one of the apex intelligence and investigative agencies for matters relating to violation of the Customs Act, has increased to over 59% in the past three years.

The data of seizure made by Lucknow unit of DRI suggested that around 4837.08 kilograms of marijuana was seized in 2015-16, which increased to 8204.5 kilograms in 2016-17 and 8225 kilograms in 2017-18. Moreover, around 7094 kilograms of marijuana has already been seized in the first three months of 2018-19 between April and June.

The DRI Lucknow unit has jurisdiction of two states-Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Sharing details, a senior DRI official said similarly around 442 kilograms of charas and 5.25 kilograms of heroin was seized from the Lucknow region in 2015-16, 320 kilograms of charas and 14 kilograms of heroin was seized in 2016-17 while 244 kilograms of charas and 16.36 kilograms of heroin were seized in 2017-18. About 340 kilograms of charas was seized in first three months of 2018-19, he added.

He said the seizures in 2017-18 also suggested that the trend of using sedatives and anaesthesia like Ketamine and Methaqualone was increasing among drug addicts.

He said Ketamine injections were approved for use in hospitals and other medical settings as an anesthetic but it was used illegally as a “recreational” drug, due to its hallucinogenic, tranquilizing and dissociative effects. Similarly, Methaqualone was medically used as a sedative but it was also used to increase potency of other drugs, he explained.

The official said 1238 injection bottles of Ketamine and 978 grams of Methaqualone tablets were seized while being smuggled in the region for drug abuse.

First Published: Jun 26, 2019 15:19 IST

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