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Pune’s drug addiction problem, a teenage issue

Several rehabilitation and de-addiction centres in the city joined hands with the police to drive home the anti-drug addiction message at schools and colleges across the city, given the age bracket now in question

pune Updated: Jun 26, 2019 15:05 IST
Dheeraj Bengrut
Dheeraj Bengrut
Hindustan Times, Pune
June 26 is ‘International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking’ and the anti-narcoticscell of Pune police released this information based on at least five years of narcotics cases in its archives
June 26 is ‘International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking’ and the anti-narcoticscell of Pune police released this information based on at least five years of narcotics cases in its archives(HT PHOTO)
         

dheeraj.bengrut@htlive.com

The average age for exposure to, and diagnosed narcotic addiction in Pune city is now between the ages of 15 and 16. This is measuredly different from the addiction bio-data of a decade ago, when the age for the same was 25.

June 26 is ‘International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking’ and the anti-narcotics cell of Pune police released this information based on at least five years of narcotics cases in its archives.

Several rehabilitation and de-addiction centres in the city joined hands with the police to drive home the anti-drug addiction message at schools and colleges across the city, given the age bracket now in question.

At the Marathwada Mitramandal College of Commerce, on Tuesday, various drugs were actually torched under the supervision of the Pune police’s anti-narco squad.

“Nowadays, the craze is odourless addictions and youth want it instantly. This addiction starts from school, which earlier, was much later like when a youth went to college. We regularly deal with cases in which the addict is a Class 9 student. This addiction directly effects the brain and then slowly starts changing the person’s thoughts, feelings and actions,” says Dr Ajay Dudhane, director, Anandvan de-addiction centre, involved in the outreach. 

Santosh Sonawane, police sub-inspector at the anti-narcotics cell, says, “Addiction to weed (marijuana) and alcohol is growing among a younger age bracket. As per our investigations, the areas in Pune were narcotics are trafficked include, Chatturshrungi, Bharati Vidyapeeth chowk and Katraj; Deccan and Shivajinagar. So there is a need of awareness among youths who are misguided. I appeal to every youngster to stay away from it and if you find any friend of yours getting addicted then help her/him to get out by contacting us.” 

Dr Shantanu Jagdale, national youth awardee by the government of India for social work, says, “In my career, till now working in this de-addiction field, I noticed that the number of youth interested in maintaining their fitness has reduced. This is because of a very bad lifestyle with various addictions. We all should have an aim in life and work for betterment of the society and stay away from any kind of addiction.” 

In the awareness drive, to be held from June 26 to July 6, programmes about addictions will be held in city colleges campus and at Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) schools in the city.

On Wednesday, June 26, both, the Sant Tukaram and Sant Dnyaneshwar palkhis will arrive in Pune, so volunteers will do an awareness drive for the general public on these day. A short documentary about de-addiction will be aired at all programmes that are part of this drive. 

Addiction knows no boundaries - case study

Dr Ajay Dudhane, director, Anandvan de-addiction centre, shares the case of an 18-year-old engineering student to illustrate the fight against narcotics.

“This student was in a high profile school in Pune initially started with e-cigarettes when s/he was in Class 9. Slowly he got addicted to weed. In Class 10 he got 72 per cent, then it came down to 57 per cent in Class 12, Science stream. S/he took admission into engineering and in the first year failed in four subjects. 

“The parents did not know about the addiction earlier, but then when they realised s/he comes home very late at night, they got worried. One night when the parents tried to talk to the person about addiction, s/he got so aggressive that s/he attacked the mother, broke the LED TV and other things in the living room. That’s when the parents brought the person in for rehabilitation,” says Dr Dudhane.

First Published: Jun 26, 2019 15:04 IST

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