Whitener addiction snuffs out Coimbatore teen’s life

A 14-year-old boy in Kovilpalayam village here, who was highly addicted to intoxicants like whiteners and glues, died during sleep in his house in the wee hours of Monday.

Published: 25th April 2013 10:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th April 2013 10:57 AM   |  A+A-

A 14-year-old boy in Kovilpalayam village here, who was highly addicted to intoxicants like whiteners and glues, died during sleep in his house in the wee hours of Monday.

The death of S Surya Kumar is presumably the first such case reported and should serve as a wake-up call, as doctors for long have been warning that inhaling toluene, a petroleum product which is a dominant ingredient in the category of weird drugs, was becoming increasingly popular among youth and could even lead to sudden death.

The boy’s father Senthil Kumar said Surya was repeatedly asking for water on Sunday night till the wee hours of Monday, after which he became silent. When Muthulakshmi, Surya’s mother, tried to wake up him in the morning, she saw the boy’s mouth filled with huge blood clots.

“I know he was highly addicted to substances like whitener and would never listen to us or even go to school. But at least then I had my son with me and hoped that he would some day give up his bad habits. Now, I have lost everything,” said a grieving Senthil Kumar.

That was not the first time Muthulakshmi had seen her son profusely bleeding. “When he was 12 years old, one day he suddenly vomited blood. The doctors told me that his internal organs were badly damaged,” she recalled.

This was when the parents started realising that their teenage son had picked up hazardous habits and developed several medical complications.

“He himself confessed to me one day the he is on some kind of weird drugs. He said he is addicted to inhaling the vapour from the glues that we use to fix puncture in tyres. He promised to give up them and again start going to school. But he was never able to come out of it,” said Senthil Kumar.

The illiterate parents had no idea how to deal with the situation. Not knowing what to do, Muthulakshmi had gone to the local police station seeking help in handling her son.

Senthil Kumar said his son could have been saved, had the police done something.



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