Average age of addicts 34, down 4 in 2 yrs: Muktangan sources
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THE average age of any kind of addict has come down in the last two years and has gone down to 34 from 38 in the city. While addiction to whitener is assuming alarming proportions among the young, the main addiction still remains alcoholism.It has also been observed that social acceptance to drinking and smoking and changing lifestyle leading to depression are the most prominent reasons for addiction.
" As various addictions among teenage population are growing, it has brought down the average age of addiction to 34," said Mukta Puntambekar, project director of the Muktangan de–ad diction centre that recently entered its silver jubilee year. " Social acceptance to drinking or smoking has increased the addiction rate. At any given time Muktangan has 150 patients admitted in the centre that is to the fullest capacity of the centre and still around 300 patients remain on the waiting list," she said.
"There are various types of addictions observed these days such as consuming drugs, brown sugar, anti–depression and sleeping pills and cough syrups. However, alcohol still tops the list as 80 per cent of total addicts are alcoholics," said Puntambekar." The age group of addicts varies from 14 to 70 and we have patients from across the country having different socio–economic background. In the last 24 years Muktangan admitted around 18,500 patients and the recovery rate is 70 per cent," she said.
According to Ajay Dudhane, president of Anandvan de–addiction centre, addiction of whitner is the latest among youth. "As the whitner bottle is easily available in any stationery shop, addiction is seen across all socio–economic groups and even in the teenagers," he said." We have patients who consume 8 bottles of whitner a day. ," said Dudhane.
Puntambekar said that the media is the biggest culprit when it comes to addiction. "People start smoking or drinking because their on–screen role models do it.