26 June 2010
By Parth Shastri
The young and the reckless, now in drug rehab
Neeti (name changed) may be just 15 years old. Just like teens her age in a wellknown school, she liked to party hard and enjoy life to the fullest. However, when she returned home late one night, her parents started worrying. She fainted at the door. When she was taken to a hospital, her parents were shocked to know that she had become addicted to brown sugar.
As world observes June 26 as International Day Against Drug Abuse And Drug Trafficking, experts from the city paint a grim picture. "We want the parents and teachers to understand the signs of addiction. It is an open secret that when they fall in bad company, they take on a number of things, including drugs and alcohol. We are creating awareness through NGOs and schools to prevent children from such exposure," said Ayush Mani Tiwari, director of Ahmedabad zone of Narcotics Control Bureau.
Dr Rajendra Anand, superintendent of Kanoria Center for Deaddiction near Bhat, told TOI that the age-group of drug users is going down alarmingly.
"Earlier, it used to be adults who would turn to drugs mainly due to stress or for a quick high. Now, even those below 18 years want to get thrill or succumb to peer pressure. What starts off as a game or show off sticks as a habit," he said. Talking about the treatment, Dr Anand said,
"We tell at the onset that if you are not mentally prepared, you cannot be cured. In withdrawal symptoms, we have recorded instances where patients fractured their hands trying to get rid of numbness. They were given psychological counselling, proper environment and regular dose of medicines to check drug intake," he said.
"We receive around 60 such cases every month. Most are related to brown sugar and charas. As brown sugar is comparatively cheaper and easily available, more are addicted to it," said Dr Shraddha Rai, proressor of psychology and active counsellor with Naya Jivan, an NGO working for de-addiction at Mirzapur.
Awareness programmes in city
NCB officials and several NGOs have organised a number of programmes to create awareness for de-addiction and early detection of drug abuse. According to officials, a human chain will be formed by schoolchildren and patients undergoing treatment near Nehru Bridge on Saturday morning.
Later, a lecture series has been organized at Mental Health Hospital. Volunteers from NGOs will visit Sabarmati Central Jail in the evening to educate undertrials about dangers of drugs and how to get deaddicted. A number of pemphlets and leaflets have been distributed at police stations.