Chandigarh, September 10: The future of lakhs of youth is destroyed due to a drug addiction. Punjab is one of the states where a major quantity of drugs is utilized and youth are destroying their life after getting addicted to several banned substances. Notably, Around 2.7 lakh which is less than 1% (0.9%) of the Punjab’s population is addicted to drugs while 22 lakh Punjabis are addicted to alcohol and 16 lakh to tobacco.
According to ‘The Tribune’, The Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) and the Punjab Government conducted a study named as “Epidemiology of Substance Use and Dependence in the state of Punjab” which was ordered in 2015 amid a raging controversy over the extent of drug addiction among Punjab’s youth revealed that while 22 lakh Punjabis are addicted to alcohol and 16 lakh to tobacco, less than 1 per cent (0.9) — 2.7 lakh of the state’s population — may be hooked on drugs.
The Tribune said, “The survey, funded by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, says one out of every six persons is dependent on substance use, which is more common in Punjab’s villages than cities. The single most common substance used is alcohol (22 lakh), followed by tobacco (16 lakh).”
The study was carried by a team comprised of Dr. Ajit Awasthi, Dr. Abhishek Ghosh and Dr. Subodh of the Department of Psychiatry which surveyed 6,398 households in all 22 Punjab districts, picking 22 cities and 22 villages in each district. The total number of respondents was 13,295, the age group 11 to 60 years. Most of the respondents were in the age group20 to 40 years.
The study revealed that one in 92 persons has used a banned substance (drug) in the past year and more than one in 87 is dependent on drugs. These estimates are likely to be higher in marginalized or other high-risk populations — the homeless, jail inmates, truck drivers and students in hostels. One percent of the population is dependent on opioids.
One in 33 persons has met with an accident because of substance use. One in 10 has reported medical problems, one in 50 psychological disorders and one in four family problems owing to substance use. Formal treatment support was sought by only one in six.