Kochi

Now, excise to use dummies of drugs to create awareness

Children exploiting ignorance of parents and teachers to avoid detection of drugs

The Excise Department is all set to roll out a novel awareness module in the district whereby dummies of narcotic and psychotropic substances will be used to familiarise parents and teachers to help them detect drugs found in possession of youngsters.

The department opted for a such a programme realising that young substance abusers were often exploiting the ignorance of parents and teachers to avoid detection of drugs.

“The programme will be rolled out this month itself in awareness campaigns centred around schools to help parents and teachers to identify such contraband by sight. We can use only dummies since even we are restricted from keeping custody of seized narcotic and psychotropic substances. We also plan to use audio-video materials for the purpose,” said A.S. Ranjith, Deputy Excise Commissioner, Ernakulam.

The premium narcotic drug like LSD which comes in the form of stamps is passed off as normal stamps and prescription drugs like nitrazepam for insomnia and anxiety are constantly abused for high as normal vitamin tablets or pills for head ache or fever.

“We also aim at alerting parents and teachers to see through the ploys used by youngsters to hide such contraband. For instance, ganja has been found to be hidden beneath the belts and even inside socks. Materials that come in constant contact with stuff like ganja exudes an odour, which should alert parents instantly,” said Mr. Ranjith.

Early detection

Noted psychiatrist C.J. John said that the new module could indeed prove vital in early detection as the ignorance of parents about drugs was one of the reasons why substance abuse go unnoticed in initial stages.

He recalled a recent incident in which the parents of a 15-year-old boy approached him with a dried plant that they recovered accidentally from their son’s room and which eventually proved to be cannabis, dealing them a rude blow.

“How to validate whether the substances used by their children and which they stumble up on accidentally are drugs or not should also be part of the module. They should know whom to approach for the matter. If the substances turn out to be drugs then how to handle the situation should also be part of the campaign,” Dr. John said.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 11:02:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/now-excise-to-use-dummies-of-drugs-to-create-awareness/article30462561.ece

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