Friday 31 May 2024

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Society | Health

Drug abuse on rise among Goa's school children


Substance abuse, which is largely associated with adults, has now trickled down to teenagers with a growing number of school children getting addicted to various narcotics in Goa, according to an NGO working in the field of drug de-addiction.

"The trend of teenagers consuming drugs has suddenly risen in last two-and-half years. Today, the average age of a drug consumer has dropped to even teenagers," said Fr Joseph Pereira, founder of NGO Kripa Foundation, which works on de-addiction pan-India. 

Earlier, the college-goers or drop outs were commonly found to be consuming drugs, but today the menace has sneaked in even into schools, he said. 

Fr Pereira, who runs a rehab centre in Anjuna, a village known for its all night rave parties, claimed that teenagers doing drugs has attained an alarming proportion. 

"It is getting progressively worst in Goa. As it happened in the case of alcohol abuse, Goa has also suffered from denial syndrome when it comes to drugs," he said.

Pereira linked the growing trend of school children attracted towards substance abuse to 'social status' as they see it as an "in-thing" to do.

The entry level drug consumers are doing 'weed'.

"This is satanic... by saying satanic I mean this is evil. And this evil is so subtle that by the time you know about it entire society is destroyed. Parents wake up late," he said.

Instances of drug abuse being done by teenagers who come from educated families have been noticed in the recent past, and in few cases, children are being treated at state-run Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour (IPHB).

The incident of two youths dying of drug overdose in Curtorim village (South Goa) during a birthday party in April this year had shocked entire Goa.

Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco on the incident said police's response towards drug menace has been "lethargic".

"Police is totally lethargic towards the menace. After the incident (at Curtorim), the main operator is still absconding. We have been telling the department (police) that narcotics have reached our door steps in the villages," Lourenco, who had raised the issue during the recently held State Legislative Assembly session, said.

"It looks like police are totally involved in allowing the drugs to flow smooth. Drug is still happening in village, though I have no proof to substantiate it," he alleged.

Police, however, said they have been raiding places whenever the information is provided.

"As far as drugs in schools are concerned, we have not received any specific complaint," Superintendent of Police (Anti Narcotic Cell), Kartik Kashyap said.

He said ANC along with Food and Drugs Administration, Narcotics Control Bureau and other agencies periodically checks outlets near schools.

"We have also began awareness campaign where more than 1,000 students are educated about ill-effects of drugs and also publicity material is circulated to them," he added. is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

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