The police of the twin cities in Karnataka— Hubballi-Dharwad have started an initiative to promote awareness against drug abuse in school and college students.
The staff of the police stations in the two cities have taken up various programmes to make the young generation aware of the adverse effects of drug abuse. Sessions are being conducted in every area to preach children against drug addiction. And the response so far has been positive.
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) conducted the awareness programmes with the assistance of the law enforcement authorities of all states and instructed the local police to conduct sessions for educating children especially the teenagers. Staff on a mission to visit schools in the emergency response support system vehicles to preach students against drug addiction and abuse. They are also notifying children about the ‘112’ helpline. The children are also signing the e-pledge ‘Say Yes to Life, No to Drugs’.
Drug abuse among children and adolescents is twice higher than the general population, says a report by Childline India, a non-governmental organisation that works for child rights and protection. The higher rate of drug abuse in children and teenagers is notably because young age is a time for experimentation and identity forming. The report also says that street children resort to cheap drugs as a coping mechanism to the daily cycles of sexual, physical and mental abuse or as recreation to escape a life of poverty. Heroin, opium, alcohol, cannabis and propoxyphene are the five most common drugs being abused by children in India.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau, the juvenile cases registered under NDPS Act increased by 21% on-year to 264 in 2020. The number of registered juvenile cases under NDPS Act was 123 in 2015 and 82 in 2010.
The government has also launched Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan (NMBA) in about 272 districts to create awareness about the ill-effects of drug abuse among the youth. The movement by the Hubballi-Dharwad police force is in-line with this initiative. It specially focuses on higher education institutes, university campuses and schools.