Despite all the preventive measures and informative campaigns being circulated far and wide about alcohol and drug abuse, a survey released recently has revealed some startling facts.
Of the 27 states and two Union territories where the survey was conducted, alcohol use among children was found to be highest in Karnataka with 88.9%. For Mumbai, the figure is 24%.
The study formed part of a national study conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, New Delhi, under the topic “Assessment of Pattern and Profile of Substance Use among Children in India”. The study was commissioned by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, the country’s apex child rights organisation.
At least 4,024 children aged between 5 and 18, with girls comprising 4.2% were surveyed. About 69.8% were from urban areas; 28% were currently studying in regular schools, and 12.9% were pursuing education through open schools.
A total of 102 NGOs, either working in the area of substance abuse or providing services to street children were involved in the survey selected in unison with the National Institute of Social Defence and the Federation of Indian NGOs in Drug Abuse Prevention using a purposive sampling framework. The process for the study began in January 2012 and was concluded in June 2013. The report was released recently.
Following Karnataka, in the line was Andhra Pradesh with 84.7%, Chandigarh and Haryana with 80%.
Children also used heroin/smack and pharmaceutical opioids. Substance use among children was not limited to metros but was equally prevalent among children in smaller towns.
It was found that peer pressure, easy availability of substances in and around homes or schools, academic failures, parental attitudes were among the major factors that encouraged alcohol and drug abuse among children. Contrary to popular belief that alcohol abuse is found only among street children, the study reported that one-third of juvenile substance abusers live in homes and attended schools.
Peer pressure, easy availability of substances in and around homes or schools, academic failures, parental attitudes were among the major factors that encouraged alcohol and drug abuse among children
Karnataka registers highest child drinkers, Mumbai records low numbers