‘88% youngsters tried alcohol, cigarettes or drugs before age of 18’
Around 88% of youngsters – from the age group 16-21 – consumed alcohol, smoked cigarettes or did some form of drugs by the time they were 18 years old, a recent survey revealed. What’s more: 61% of respondents said their parents were not aware of these activities and almost 52% – regardless of age – said they have easy access to the substances.
The survey – conducted by a group of FYBA students at St Xavier’s College in the city – included respondents from Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and Kolkata.“Consumption of alcohol is the most common, as no one looks at it as an addiction. A majority of youngsters do not consider it harmful,” said a first-year BA student who was part of conducting the study.
“Most respondents attributed their decision either to curiosity or peer pressure,” she added. 57% respondents said they tried it out of curiosity, while 33% cited peer pressure.
The survey also revealed that 76% of the youngsters who tried some or the other form of intoxication continued to use it, and almost 41% said they end up using these substances at least once a week. While 40% of them said that they are trying to get rid of their habit, 7% said they tried to quit but failed. The remaining 53% said they have not even tried to rid themselves of the habit.
Around 17% of the respondents also revealed that they’ve sought external help to try to get over their habits. “The youth today is very vulnerable and addiction to various unhealthy habits is one of them. The purpose of conducting this survey was to understand how these habits are formed, look at factors that lead to addiction and to create awareness around the issue, said professor Avkash Jadhav, head and associate professor of department of History, St Xavier’s College.