COIMBATORE: Preventing drug abuse is proving to be a tough challenge for police as the sale of narcotic substances has metamorphosed into new forms.
Besides the usual methods, ganja is now sold in the form of chocolates, which are not easy to detect, and the targets are students. According to an officer in the special team formed to crack down on peddlers, ganja chocolate is one of the attractive drugs among students and is simple to trade because it is disguised as chocolate. Another menace is sedatives or painkillers.
“In the past, the Tamil Nadu food safety and drug administration department assisted in controlling illegal drug trade by pharmacists. Following the crackdown, peddlers started bringing drugs from other states. Due to the lucrative returns, those who once sold ganja have shifted to selling drugs and ganja-laced chocolates,” said a police officer in a special team.
Analysis of recent incidents revealed a connection between the smuggling of prescription drugs/ ganja chocolates and other states. Special teams have been formed in each police station and they are going after the sources of supply, which are outside Tamil Nadu. Commissioner of Police, V Balakrishnan, said ganja chocolates is usually sourced from Rajasthan and prescribed drugs are brought from Uttar Pradesh and Telangana.
“We have short-listed ganja/drug peddlers from each station limits and executing the security bonds against them. Three special teams have been sent to Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh and Hyderabad in Telangana to locate the network. One more team has gone to Rajasthan to investigate the ganja chocolate network,” Balakrishnan added.
Explaining the measures to prevent students from falling into the trap, the commissioner said they conducted two meetings with college administrations recently. “Besides we have placed awareness messages stressing legal and health consequences of drug usage, at every college, hostel premises,”
Balakrishnan added that police will help people quit the addiction and be admitted in the de-addiction centre setup at Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH). In addition to treating them, he hopes to get information about the drug peddlers from them.