Gujarat Sees Spike In Young Substance Abusers

| Updated: November 6, 2021 6:33 pm

The consumption of drugs is said to be consistently growing amongst the youth of the Gujarat. A Rajkot based cricketer’s mother has accused six people for luring her son and his wife into substance abuse. Following her complaint, the police found out that Akash Ambasana who is a former under 19 cricketer and his wife Ami Cholera were under the influence of mephedrone at a hotel located 200m from the police commissioner’s office.
The police officials said that the couple who is now in rehab were saved due to the timely intervention of mother.
This comes a month after the Directorate Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on September 16 found two cargo containers with more than 2988 kg of heroin worth Rs 21,000 crores that was being smuggled as “semi-processed talc stones” at the Mundra Port in Kutch. It was said to be the biggest narcotics seizure in the country.
The investigative agencies believe that the 1650 kms long Gujarat coastline was being used as a “gateway” for international drug networks to smuggle large consignments from the “golden crescent” which is the land locked area between Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) in its Crime in India 2020 Report states that around 308 cases under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act were reported in Gujarat during the pandemic year. Out of these, 117 were to be used for personal consumption and the number is steadily rising. In 2019 of the 289 cases under NDPS Act, 112 were of personal possession, a sharp rise from 2018 when of the total 150 cases under the act, 60 were those of personal use.
Talking about the addictions, Dr Apla Vyas, a counsellor at the Naya Jeevan De-addiction Centre said that there are over 250 addicts that visited the centre in the past year. While many leave abruptly, some complete their 30 days rehan period while some may return to the centre after each relapse.
“We don’t take addicts below the age of 18 years. The average age of addicts at our centre is 25-35 years. All of them had started using it when they were young and did not seek help then. They only did after spending a considerable time of their lives ‘on a high’,” said Vyas.
There has been a sudden spike in the drug smuggling cases in Gujarat that was noted after the second wave of Covid 19. The compiled cases in the reports showed that since June, both the local police and NCB have seized narcotics worth above Rs 6.6 crores in 21 cases and had arrested over 52 people in drug trafficking from different parts of the state.
The police said that for cheap intoxicants like ganja and bhang, cannabis and hemp plantations are grown by local farmers in Gujarat. The Anand police in May busted a huge marijuana plantation and seized over 900 kgs of plants sown amongst the jowar crops.
To curb the drugs consumption across the state, the Gujarat police has also announced a helpline, 1908, wherein the citizens can report on smuggling, sale/purchase and consumption of drugs.

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