Sateesh Rao, Head of the Department of Psychiatry of K.S. Hegde Charitable Hospital, has expressed concern over the increase in the number of youngsters getting addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Speaking at the International Day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking on Tuesday, Dr. Rao said many students from the high school and pre-university colleges were getting addicted to drugs and alcohol. A recent survey by the Link Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts showed that 12.5 per cent of boys and 3 per cent of girls studying in high schools and colleges in Mangalore were addicted to drugs and alcohol. Drug addiction had been noticed among those aged between 12 and 15, he said.
Dr. Rao said tobacco was a gateway for youngsters to get addicted to drugs and alcohol. While some get addicted because of curiosity to the substance, there were youngsters going for drugs because of peer pressure. Substance abuse and alcoholism had been harming lives of youngsters. Over the years, there had been gradual decrease in the physical and mental strength among youngsters.
Commissioner of Police Seemant Kumar Singh said youngsters easily got into the trap of consumption of drugs and alcohol and they found it hard to come out of it. It was the responsibility of the society to help such youngsters to come out of the trap and help them lead a happy life. Chairperson of Child Welfare Committee Asha Nayak and Chief Psychiatrist from Government Wenlock Hospital Arun Rao spoke.
Members of Jagan Power, a drama troupe, staged a play Yelaveyalli Yeleta that narrated harms from drug addiction. Prizes for winners in the elocution, painting, and slogan completions were held.