HYDERABAD: The sensational crackdown on drug peddling and abuse two months ago by the state prohibition and excise department as well as the city police has led to a spike in the number of cases involving city teens being referred to drug de-addiction centres for treatment.The excise dragnet, spread in the first week of July, not only reached the doorsteps of several Tollywood celebrities but also brought to light the prevalence of drug abuse in schools and colleges, students of which were found to be abusers of psychotropic drugs like LSD and MDMA.
Therapists have refused to give out the numbers nor to reveal the details of victims who are seeking help. They point out that a majority of the victims are in the age group of 16 and 19 years and are addicted mostly to Marijuana (ganja). The shortage of de-addiction centres, the rules that prevent admission of adolescents to these centres and the dire need for parental care and effort for the young victims to come out of addiction were reported earlier in these columns.
It many cases it is the parents who are motivating their children to undergo counselling. “Thanks to the drug bust, a lot of parents are now keeping a watch on their children and motivating them to seek help, lest the addicts could lose their mental health,” said Dr Y Jayarami Reddy, a de-addiction specialist. “It is not just those from affluent families but a lot of patients from the middle-income strata, are coming to me,” he added. At another centre, two addicts, who lost their mental stability for long abuse of drugs, showed some initial recovery but suffered a relapse. “In two extreme cases, the patients went into a relapse after treatment. Unless prescribed drugs are used, they cannot come out of manic depression,” said Dr V A Prasad, a therapist at Hope Trust.
In many cases, speed ball, a condition where cocaine and heroin are mixed, has been found to be the reason for the faster deterioration of mental health. “It is not just speed ball that has become common but consumption of uppers, a central nervous stimulant (CNS), and downers, CNS depressor, to get a maximum kick has also become common. Our patients include a large number of engineering students,” he added.The de-addiction centres are not of complete help to victims of drug abuse as minors are not allowed to be admitted for rehabilitation. “The Indian medical law does not allow minors to be admitted for rehabilitation and because of that many cases are just considered as out-patients. Apart from counselling, there is nothing much that can be done for them,” said O Aravind Reddy, a psychologist.
Lab reports awaited
Forensic lab reports on the body fluid samples of drug addicts are still awaited, according to excise (enforcement) director Akun Sabharwal
Charge sheets in 11 cases will be filed by end of September and 22 people have been arrested so far
As many as 26 schools in the city were alerted by excise dept on possible drug abuse in their schools
Sixteen pub owners and 12 Telugu film personalities were served notices to appear before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) for further probe