Experts: Technology making it easy for students to procure narcotics

Social media and messaging apps serve as conduits for drug transactions, where students learn the jargon and techniques involved in procuring drugs discreetly.
Representative image
Representative image

HYDERABAD : With the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking falling on Wednesday, law enforcement officials, doctors and experts have expressed concern over technological advancements making it easier for youngsters and students to get access to drugs.

The integration of technology into everyday life has altered how students access and engage with illicit substances. Social media platforms and messaging apps serve as conduits for drug transactions, where students learn the jargon and techniques involved in procuring drugs discreetly. Despite heightened awareness and preventive measures, the avenues through which young people are procuring drugs have evolved. Gone are the days when drugs were primarily obtained through shadowy alleyways or dubious acquaintances, experts said, adding that students now have multiple ways to get access to drugs and narcotics to access substances, often right under the noses of unsuspecting adults.

Explaining the issue, a psychologist, Devika Rani, said, “It is about vulnerability, which is exploited by peddlers and predators, particularly among adults. However, for students, it’s the pervasive influence of peer pressure, media exposure and the impact of AI algorithms that shape their perception and behaviour towards drug use.”

Rani shared an incident where a student’s exposure to a single party-related video led to an influx of similar content, normalising drug-related activities in the process. “This exposure often leads to the formation of secretive WhatsApp groups, understanding the drug language and the subsequent procurement of drugs,” she elaborated.

Sandeep Shandilya, director of Telangana Anti-Narcotics Control Bureau (TGNAB), discussed recent strategies in a meeting with the chief minister aimed at curbing this alarming trend. “We were proposed to perform random raids at railway stations to monitor ganja transportation, checks at pan shops, cigarette shops and kirana stores selling ganja-laced chocolates,” he said.

He further highlighted plans involving the transport department to inspect buses at borders and to conduct surprise raids on courier services. “Under the directive of the Chief Secretary’s office, targeted raids will be executed to combat drug trafficking effectively,” Shandilya added. Additionally, there are an overall 266 sniffer dogs in the department and that could be put to use for drug-related raids and checks, said the officer.

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