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giovedì 23 marzo 2017

70,000 indian street children addicted to drugs

"Initiation of drug, tobacco as well as inhalants use started at 9 years of age. Cannabis and alcohol use started a little at about 11 years of age. Even substances such as heroin or opium started at the young age of 12-13 years of age", reads the report.

Children as young as nine are getting trapped in the vicious circle of drug abuse in Delhi, a government survey has found after studying 70,000 street kids dwelling in the shadow world of the desperate and destitute.
Experts say health and welfare programmes don't reach millions of such children in the Capital and other parts of the country because they don't have documents and are invisible to the system.
Dr Mrinalini Darswal, project director of Delhi State AIDS Control Society, told Mail Today. "This is first and a major government survey on Delhi's street children. About 70,000 street children are in the habit of consuming drugs in any form, out of which 20,000 intake tobacco. Alcohol consumption is prevalent among 9,450 children, inhalants in 7,910, cannabis in 5,600, heroin in 840 and pharmaceutical opioids and sedatives among 210 children each." To estimate the prevalence of drug use among street children in the city, Delhi government's women and child development department conducted the survey in collaboration with the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) at AIIMS.
Most of the street children reported peer pressure, curiosity to experience high, handling cold or hunger and attempts to forget about families and be part of groups among reasons for starting drug use, noted the survey.
More than 60 per cent of these kids were actually living with their families, siblings or relatives. About 20 per cent of them were out on the streets to support their families. The kids were found near shopping areas, railway platforms, bus terminals, dumping grounds, traffic signals, places of worship and eateries. Only 10.9 per cent of these children were studying in schools, compared to more than 30 per cent of the nondrug using street kids. However, more than 30 per cent received non-formal education at some point. About 30 per cent of the kids dropped out of school due to drug abuse.
The Delhi government is now planning to start dedicated juvenile drug-deaddiction-centres in six hospitals. The survey was conducted in all districts of the Capital, with children between 7 and 18 years of age and any gender. "As drug using people tend to know other members of the drug using network of their area, therefore, a Respondent Driven Sampling method was used.
"This method has been specially picked because substance users are largely a marginalised and hidden population," a senior AIIMS doctor, one of the investigators from NDDTC, told Mail Today.

70,000 children habituated to drugs, reveals 1st major government survey on Delhi's street kids Priyanka Sharma Sanjana Agnihotri New Delhi, March 13, 2017

The Glue Sniffers

Bhubaneswar: In a shockingly revelation, several street children and school students in the capital have been found to be addicted to inhaling synthetic rubber based adhesives as they contain chemicals which act like intoxicants.
Shopkeepers selling these glues admit that students as well as street children are their regular customers.
“Street children often purchase them. We know they inhale it. Whenever we question them, they say they are buying it for cobblers. Some school children also purchase these glues claiming they need it for project work,” said Devraj Sahu, a shopkeeper at Cuttack road.
Usually, children who purchase these adhesives pour them on clothes or in plastic bags to inhale their toxic odor.
I usually buy these from hardware shops and shops near the railway station. I inhale it three or four times a day as it kills my hunger,” said Satya (name changed), a street child.
Doctors say most of these adhesives contain chemicals like toluene and other intoxicating hydrocarbons. When inhaled, these chemicals can create neurotoxin effect like drugs.
“Even college students use it and it is a type of substance abuse. These toxins when inhaled will go directly to the blood. Frequent use can result in neurological depression and can even result in permanent damage of nerves,” said Regional Medical Research Centre (Bhubaneswar) director Sanghamitra Pati.
Cheap and easy availability of such glues is the major reason for its use by children. Legal experts say the government cannot ban sale of these products but can consider imposing restrictions on their sale to children.
“There is a need for inspection and monitoring by the authorities to prevent the sale of these products to children. The government can instruct manufactures of these products to carry warning that these products contain harmful chemicals,” said Anuradha Mohanty, a leading child rights activist.

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