Saying no to drugs

Saying no to drugs

Alarming trend

Saying no to drugs

Forum Mall, aided by the students from the Drama Society of Jyoti Nivas College, took the initiative to create a campaign called ‘I Lost My Mind To Drugs’, to highlight the ill-effects and abnormalities of drug addiction.

The campaign was held in the Central Atrium at Forum Mall. Groups of students painted their faces like ogres, symbolising the monstrous effects of drugs on both the mind and the physique, and roamed around the mall asking youngsters questions to test their awareness level about this problem.

Although, many kinds of drugs like sedatives and hallucinogens were discussed, special attention was paid to the widespread use of inhalant drugs like correction fluid and butane lighters  as they are commonly available.

Often called ‘gateway drugs’ because they lead to abuse of other forms of intoxicants, surveys show an alarming increase in usage of inhalants by younger children. The students of Jyoti Nivas College also put up a skit that was performed continuously in the Central Atrium.
Shaguftah, a BA student who was performing in the skit, explains that it highlighted the implications of maintaining a drug habit.

“We portray some of the problems that people face when they do drugs, from hallucinating to encountering financial problems,” she says.  From a girl who attends rave parties to escape her problems to one who takes drugs because she is bipolar, the skit revolved around a cross-section of drug users and the kinds of lives they lead.

It moves on to slightly more serious cases, like a cocaine addict who realises she is completely cut off from her friends and family and also stresses the difficulty that drug users face when they try to quit.

Sujatha Padmanathan, the students’ drama teacher, says they had just one day to practice. “We simply had a two-hour session, but it was great fun,” she says.

After the skit, senior doctors from Narayana Hrudayalaya addressed the audience about their views on drug addiction.  Dr Rajesh Aiyyar, a senior neurologist, says, “Students in school and college are especially vulnerable as they want to try new things. Other factors that influence people to take drugs include poor parental control, depression and loneliness.”

Dr Preeti Patil, a visiting consultant psychiatrist with clinical experience in addiction and child psychiatry, feels that the main problem is the limited knowledge about how drugs can effect a person.

“In India, seven and a half crore people are drug addicts and the numbers are only increasing. Awareness has to be created about the detrimental effects of drug usage,” she says, firmly.

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