pw1Drug abuse is growing at an alarming rate among the youth. Although there are different types of drugs available in the market, the effects and symptoms of all are more or less the same. News reports have at regular intervals, chronicled the arrests of young people, mostly between 17-20 years of age, for drugs consumption. To deal with the menace enslaving the city’s youngsters, Mumbai police has undertaken several measures to educate and serve a warning bell to the youth about the effects of drugs and alcohol. Knowing that today’s youths are hooked to social media, the Mumbai police has used this medium to reach out to them.

According to the National Council o f Alcoholism and Drugs Dependence (NCADD), more than 23 million people over the age of 12 are addicted to alcohol and other drugs.

pw2The Anti Narcotics Cell of Mumbai Police have come up with several initiatives and are conducting seminars to educate youngsters about the ill-effects of alcohol. “Realizing the increase in the consumption of drugs and alcohol among the youth and other age groups, we have decided to deal with them in a way they could understand and identify. We have started posting pictures on social media with messages for people to understand the effect of drugs. We have also appealed to everyone to be on the lookout for drug addicts in their localities and dissuade them from taking to destructive way of life,” said an officer attached to Anti Narcotics cell of Mumbai Police.

The force has started putting up posters and boards outside police stations in the city to spread awareness among the public about the various measures taken to educate youngsters. Cops have come up with a poster which has grabbed the attention of youths. The poster contains messages about the disadvantages of drugs and the consequences arising out of them.

“We had these posters put up outside those police stations that are on the main roads and have a good visibility. The work started almost two months ago and it is an ongoing effort .We are putting up posters outside other police stations too. It is basically an image building- effort to strengthen the cop –public connect, so that the police seems more approachable to public” said Ashok Dudhe, DCP, PRO- Mumbai police

pw3“We have used cartoons since drab pictures are not interesting. Cartoons are humorous and so we have merged humor with a social message. The outcome is beautiful and I am proud of it” Dudhe added. Mumbai police’s Twitter handle includes public service messages on issues such as cyber stalking, traffic safety and antidrugs campaign, but with a dose of humor.

School and colleges are also lending a helping hand to cops by conducting drug awareness programmes through posters with slogan such as “SAY NO TO DRUGS’ & “DRUGS KILL” etc.

What Leads To Drug Addiction?

Sheer pressure of studies on students could be one of the few reasons that leads to substance abuse among the youngsters.

pw4Sheer pressure of studies on students could be one of the few reasons that leads to substance abuse among the youngsters. The education system these days is very competitive and lacks flexibility. Lakhs of students are vying for limited seats in the various institutions. Parental pressure and expectations on the academic front adds to the stress and so the youngsters seek refuge in drugs. Personal and family problems also leads to drug abuse among youngsters who fail to cope up with the ever growing family and personal problems.

Workplace pressure and issues with colleagues’ results in workplace deviance which later results in detrimental effects on the individual. Peer pressure is a major reason why youngsters take drugs.

Many people fall into the trap of addiction due to curiosity after seeing a friend or loved one getting into the habit. They want to experiment and experience a trance-like feeling, allowing them to escape the mundane existence they are going through or trying to overcome and cope up with a problem.

pw5In the early stages, one might find that sense of escape thereby leading him/her to consume more drugs. But as the addiction reaches new heights, drugs become more of a need than a problem solver. Dependency on drugs then becomes critical as one takes refuge in drugs to escape even the simplest of hurdles of life. A downward spiral towards self destruction then becomes the only route for the addicted person.

Although there are different types of drugs, the effects and symptoms are more or less the same. Common Signs to Look Out For in a Drug Addict:

1. Neglecting responsibilities at workplace, school, college or at home like skipping tuition classes, low academic performance, staying away or aloof most of the time.

2. Indifference in relationships. Frequent fights with family members/partner/ good friend etc.

3. Change in behavioral attitude.

4. Flaring temper.

5. Getting into fights for petty issues.

6. Involved in illegal activities.

7. Lack of motivation. Becomes lethargic.

8. Easily anxious and irritated.

9. Loss of appetite and weight.

10.Erratic sleep patterns.

– by Mohit Naik