Students turn to novel ways for intoxication

From paint thinner, glue to syrups and tablets, the list is long

An alarming trend has been reported among students, especially teenagers largely turning towards chemicals used in household articles to get drug effect. Paint thinner, sprays, toilet cleaning solutions etc are increasingly used by teenagers as inhalant as these are easily available and continuous sniffing make them drowsy. The students exhilarates these chemicals heavily and continuously to get the kick which gradually results in brain damage and psychological disorders, according to experts. 

“The trend is a national phenomenon. There is a spurt in the number of students who have been taking psychiatric treatment to these kind of drug addiction,” says Dr Aneesh Bhat, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, K S Hegde Medical Academy, Mangalore. 

He adds that memory loss, violent behavior, depression, hostility are prevalent among these victims. Though experts warn that sniffing glue and paint thinner will cause kidney problems and liver damage, nobody seems to be taking note of the impending danger.

It is learnt that apart from homes, students get glues widely from garages and small motor repair shops. Some resort to toilet cleaner to heavily exhilarate the odour of the chemical. There are reports from Kasargod that drug addicts even open fuel tanker of vehicles and take a heavy in-take of the ‘luring’ smell of the chemical to get dizzy. 

Recently, a 18-year-old-boy, a victim of these kind of drug usage was admitted to a hospital in Mangalore for 10 days. The father, who came to know about the ‘ways’ through which his son is getting the ‘drug,’ requested the doctor to write a letter stressing on the easy availability of the substance to lodge a complaint with the police. Thereafter, the issue hogged media attention which was followed by unearthing of the myriad ways through which the school students are increasingly getting into drug usage.

 Once a student got addicted, he lures others also to experience the hitherto unknown moments of ‘bliss-fullness’. Dr Bhat alerts that the wide usage of chemicals as drugs is not confined to Kasargod alone but is prevalent in Mangalore as well as in the rural parts of Dakshina Kannada district too. 

Medicines as drugs

Instances like taking overdose of medicines to have drug effect is also on the rise. Corex Cough syrup, sedative tablet like Nitravet are much in demand among teenagers for its intoxicity. 

If the cough syrup is advised by physicians’ to take one table spoon three times daily, teenagers are gulping the whole bottle to have the kick which extends to hours. 

A student counselor in Kasargod confided with Deccan Herald that two crushed tablets of Nitravet dissolved in soda water and sipping it, is one of the common method of taking drug among ‘experienced’ students drug abusers. 

She maintained that usually those hailing from poor background and without much parental attention are mostly vulnerable to these kind of drug abuse. 

Awareness is key

“Though we haven’t received any specific complaint over the issue, we have already sent an alert message on the new methodology of using drugs prevalent among students,” said Kasargod district police chief Thomson Jose. He noted that apart from students, labourers from northern-states too are widely using chemicals as drugs. 

“It is hard to keep a tab on misusing such things, as sprays, glues and paint thinners are household items. Awareness is the key to tackle these type of misuse,” Jose maintained. 

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