Most teenagers fall prey to drug and substance abuse because of the peer pressure and the need to look good among their friend circle.
It often starts with smoking cigarettes during their school and college days and then progresses to substance abuse unless checked and controlled in time.
Speaking to Pune365, Pramod Udar, a social worker with Muktangan said, earlier the ratio was 5/10 of 100 while now the ratio is 27-30 out of 100.
There are kids from the age of 14 to adults as old as 65 who are addicted to drugs and other substances.
School students come mainly with an addiction of cheap drugs that includes instant adhesives, Whitener, pain relief balms, sniffing of petrol etc. Most of them move to charas – ganja and other drugs. Drug abuse in colleges is high, almost 1 of 10 students addicted to some kind of drug, Pramod adds.
AT every stage of addiction, counselling and getting help from a psychiatrist is important. Parents also should establish a healthy relationship with their kids especially when he/she is at teenage.
Talking to children about drugs and addiction is important and shouldn’t be considered taboo.
Schools and colleges should also conduct awareness programmes for students and their parents. Pramod remarks, “Addiction is a mental disease which can be cured and a person can live his life just like they did.
Our rehabilitation centre helps addicts in the recovery process. The centres usually have an outlined residential program. Use of discipline, creative & constructive routines and psychological treatment methods are the salient features of the centres.
The addicts are helped to analyze themselves, confront defensive behaviour and learn coping patterns. The duration of the patient’s stay may vary from 34 days to 6 months, he added.
College student, Reema Muchal shares “I have a friend currently in a rehabilitation centre in Mumbai. Initially, he started with smoking cigarettes during our HSC.
It was like peer pressure at that time. We all started smoking.
However later once my parents caught me and made me understand the side effects of smoking post which I stopped. But my friends still continued and since I wasn’t smoking, I never went with them.
Initially, they started with whitener, later they were smoking marijuana. Within a year I found them doing Meow Meow (memphedrone)—a synthetic stimulant drug.
Recalling her college friends experience with substance abuse, Reema shares, my friend was so addicted that if he didn’t get drugs, he would shiver, fight , steal money from his parents and more.
Once he was found stealing money from a teachers wallet in the staff room and his parents were called. He was then moved to a rehabilitation centre.
There are still many students younger to us, who are always high on weed in the campus itself. Some peddle it in the college too. The security guys and some staff in the college also know about the drug abuse happening in the college and yet there is no action taken.
There are no awareness programs in the colleges- Our management has the fear that if such programmes are conducted, children may get exposed to drugs, she added.
Children cant be kept locked in the house and you cant follow them to college and to their friends, says Kalindi Jain, Parent and Software professional.
xIt is difficult to track their activities. You can’t go on calling them call and question them. And not all kids like to share everything with their parents.
However, as a parents we ensure that we talk to them about everything from boyfriends, sex, to addiction of substances. Restrict less and trust them is our mantra of parenting, Kalindi added.
#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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