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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 20 April 2024 7.43 AM IST

100 out of 400 students are reported to use tobacco products; COVID-19 fuels teenage drug abuse

drug-abuse-

KOCHI: Investigation agencies have uncovered a surge in drug accumulation within cities including Kochi resulting in heightened local drug sales. Teenagers are increasingly falling into new habits, notably drug addiction as revealed during counseling sessions. Shockingly, primary school students have been found to be using tobacco.

P. Babu John, the Project Coordinator of the Social Policing Division and Sub-Inspector of Kochi, emphasized that current drug prevention efforts primarily rely on awareness programs. However, effective prevention also necessitates psychological assistance and rehabilitation care post-treatment. Family cooperation is crucial for successful prevention efforts.

The 'Venda' awareness campaign conducted by the Fourth Wave Foundation indicated that drug use among children increased from 10 to 30 percent before and after Covid 19, with higher prevalence among the 13-17 age group. Notably, 100 out of 400 students, on average are reported to use tobacco products.

Excessive mobile phone usage and inappropriate friendships have been identified as contributing factors leading children towards addiction and other risky behaviors. Babu John, who lost his father to alcohol addiction at a young age, views the fight against addiction as a lifelong commitment.

Efforts to raise awareness include classes for students from the fifth grade onwards, as well as sessions conducted in Residents Associations, SNDP branches and churches. Disrupted family relationships have also been identified as a significant factor contributing to substance abuse, highlighting the need for more attention and support for troubled youth.

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TAGS: DRUG USE, COVID19, SPECIAL, STUDENTS, TOBACCO
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