Mangalore City North MLA Dr Y Bharath Shetty said, “The demand for untested psychoactive substances, labelled as designer drugs, is on the rise as they are available easily.”
He was speaking during the inauguration of a one-day seminar on ‘Designer Drugs – An Escalating Public Health Challenge’ at the Interact Lecture Hall in Manipal.
Dr Shetty cautioned that these drugs were entering the underground drugs market with nicknames such as ‘spice’, ‘bath salts’, ‘meow meow’ and ‘ecstasy’.
The drugs are called
“designer” because they are based on existing illegal recreation drugs with chemical structures that are modified to varying degrees to evade drug loss.
Presently, the total number of new psychoactive substances is around 400 with new drugs entering the market every day, he said.
The seminar was organised by the newly established Centre for Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances (CNPS) under MAHE and was attended by students, scholars and officers from Police, Customs, CISF, RFSL, said CNPS Head Dr G Shreekumar Menon.
MAHE Pro chancellor Dr H S Ballal, Registrar Dr Narayana Sabhahit and Dr Vinod Nayak, HOD Dept of Forensic Medicine, KMC Manipal spoke on the need for robust law enforcement, as well as prevention and treatment approaches.
At the valedictory, Amith Kumar, Deputy Commandant, CISF, Mangaluru Airport was the chief guest.
MAHE Pro Vice Chancellor Dr Poornima Baliga, who also spoke on the occasion, stressed on the need for parents and teachers to constantly monitor students’ behaviour to identify tendencies that can give a hint of any deviant behaviour.
She informed the audience that MAHE would shortly start a Certificate Programme in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselling.