Alarming rise in ganja consumption among teenagers in Hyderabad

Hyderabad, Sept 06 (KMS): Some corporate schools in Hyderabad city in the Indian state of Telangana have become haven for ganja supply as an increasing number of teenagers are smoking marijuana in the school washrooms or in hideouts once out of school. According to de-addiction therapists, some children in the 13 to 16 years age-group are consuming drugs as they are easily available in the market.

This has resulted in their parents ending up paying huge amounts to rehabilitate their children away from drug addiction. With hardly any checking of their school bags has bolstered students to carry the banned substance in their bags, explained V.S. Gideon, who runs a rehab centre.

“It is not stress that is leading them to addiction but peer pressure, curiosity and the fad to be with the moving trends,” said Gideon.

A 16-year-old student said that she did hear about other students getting caught for smoking marijuana in school. She smokes vape in the washroom while another student stands guard at the door.

“We carry pocket sprays to the washroom and use them once we are through,” said the student.

A psychiatrist who also runs an anti-drug rehab centre, Dr Virinchi Sharma said that currently, two out of five children who come to him are having substance use disorders. Several children confide in him that his friends got away by bribing the watchman or security staff.

ACP (crime) A.R. Srinivas said that police continue to keep a strict watch on the drug menace and have been registering several cases.

“In order to be away from our glare, many are going to hideouts. If we catch minors, they are counseled. We have told stationery shop owners to stop selling whiteners that are also used to get a high,” he said.

None of the private school managements were willing to comment on the menace that is destroying the atmosphere in their premises.

How does it start?

It starts with lighter substances like vapes and hookahs, and ends up with ganja and other banned drugs. Students try it out of curiosity, peer pressure and to follow the ‘trend’.

What happens when parents find out?

They are in complete denial that their child can ever consume drugs. They try to just handle the child in their own way by locking them in rooms. They do not understand that substance addiction cannot be solved this way. They need proper treatment, which can cost up to `one lakh in private rehab centers.

Basic symptoms:

Parents need to watch out for warning signals that come in the form of rolling papers, dried leaves and lighters in their child’s bags and behavioral changes like aggression, irritability, lethargy and sudden drop in academic performances.

How dangerous is the addiction?

When addicts do not get the substance, they start harming themselves or others. They do not care if it is their parents, friends or others and may physically harm them if not given drugs or money.

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