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Dec 31
Drug use to rise on New Year eve
Consumption of drugs will shoot up this New Year eve, says a survey. Disposable incomes, availability of drugs, pressure to succeed and disjointed families are likely to lead to higher consumption in the age group of 16-30 years, according to the survey conducted in cities like Ahmedabad, Goa, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Pune, Bangalore, Chandigarh and Chennai by Assocham Social Development Foundation (ASDF). The findings indicate an almost 100% increase in consumption of drugs in the last 10 years.

The survey of more than 3,000 teenagers found that most of them initially took to drugs to be at par with their peer groups. But, there are many others who say they resorted to drugs as they feel that the intoxicating effect of the drugs sways them away from the tensions of day-to-day life.

"There are at least five places in Ahmedabad where my friends and I get our required dose of drugs from. Drugs like hash and weed is available for as low as Rs 50 a pouch. The price goes up a bit during festive season. I first tried drugs three years ago and it has become a habit now. Most of my friends have taken to drugs to beat stress, get over break-ups and to improve concentration during exams," said Amit Patel (name changed), a third-year engineering student.

"Use of party drugs among youth is very high. Usually, upper class adolescents take this, mostly, girls get influenced by these drugs and they think party drugs are cool, naughty and fashionable," added the survey.

Majority of the respondent believe that only marijuana and heroin are dangerous, while party drugs would just give a high without causing any side effects, which is wrong, according to the survey. The physical effects might be mild in the beginning but later it causes nausea, loss of consciousness, loss of reflexes and impaired breathing.

It is estimated that, in metros, by the time boys reach the 11th grade, about 65% of them have tried at least one of the drugs, said DS Rawat, secretary general, Assocham. The survey also says that 56% of BPO employees consume drugs excessively, at least five to six times in a month. It also indicates that call centre workers are at higher risk because of the size of the salaries they are receiving at a relatively young age. About one in 10 call centre workers smoke drugs during work hours.

The survey further stressed that the professional counseling, workshops, educative film shows in order to create awareness on effects of bad habits.

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