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How can we prevent youth in India from drug abuse?
In a recent symposium organized by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in Indore on the theme "Drug abuse Consequences and Remedies", to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking being observed today on June 26, it was brought up that Punjab was on the top in the country in drug abuse by the youth.
The main reason for drug abuse was attributed to lack of proper parenting and communication gap between parents and their children coupled with low quality of education. In such a situation, students fall prey to drugs under peer pressure, it was projected. I tried to find out the reasons and preventive measures for school students taking to drugs and college students from well to do families falling for rave parties.

"If preventive measures are not taken, drug addiction becomes chronic leading to compulsive drug seeking and use. Compulsive drug addiction turns into a brain disease due to changes in the structure and function of the brain caused by the drug. Often most people start taking drugs under peer pressure or out of curiosity, but the trip leads to craving. Over time, drug abuse leads to loss of self-control and capacity to make rational decisions. One gets addicted and gets into intense impulse grip of drugs. Only sound parenting and good education can make students not to take to drugs," said a child specialist doctor in the neighbourhood. The medical treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts is necessary to ward off any relapse.

Similar views have been expressed by President Pranab Mukherjee in his message on the occasion of the observance.

"Drug abuse is a psycho-social-medical problem requiring a holistic approach and comprehensive treatment programme. Attention should be focused on enabling addicts become productive members of the society by making them drug free, crime free and gainfully employed. Generating continuous and sustained awareness about the harmful effects of drug abuse is also important. Stress should be on mobilization of community resources and greater community participation. Apart from this, law enforcement agencies should be sensitized to the needs of victims of substance abuse to enable them to be rehabilitated and re-integrated into society," stated President Mukherjee in a government release.

Long standing, life skills based education when implemented properly can educate students to take rational decisions, and develops ability to say no to the peers pressures and negotiation skill to prevent them to taking to drugs.

"In the modern world of fast life, increased social isolation and stress caused by cut-throat competitions, life skills education can be the only way to empower students to take rational decisions and ward off from all kinds of risks in life. Also, there is need for strong counselling services for adolescents in the schools," she added.

Both preventive and treatment measures need to be taken on war footings to end the menace of drug abuse in our country.

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