Monday, June 27, 2005

Bangalore is South’s worst in narcotic abuse

Bangalore is South’s worst in narcotic abuse, says NCB
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Bangalore is the worst among capital cities in the South when it comes to narcotics. Blame it on the cosmopolitan culture of the city and youth aflush with money.

“A peddler in Bangalore sells at least 200 tablets of Ecstasy and 10 gm of cocaine over a weekend,” Shankar Jiwal, Director, NCB South Zonal Unit, Chennai, told this website’s newspaper. Cocaine and Ecstasy are making inroads while street drugs like marijuana and heroin are picking up, he said.

“In cities like Chennai and Hyderabad, moral policing is stricter. So is the nightlife. On MG Road, there is activity till three or four in the morning,” Jiwal said.

With BPO and IT jobs offering high salaries, youth are now able to afford expensive narcotics and a lifestyle of pubs and discos. Last year, the NCB raided a party held at a farmhouse across the Tamil Nadu border near Hosur and were in for a surprise. They found a large quantity of contraband -- cannabis, mushrooms, cocaine and Ecstasy and the revellers were between 18 and 30.

“We profiled these youth. Some were young girls whose parents do not bother about the late hours or those broken away from their families and staying alone.

There was one girl who came to Bangalore to study but she joined a call centre and she blew most of her earnings on drugs. She had come to the party because she was told there were free drugs,” Jiwal said. Such parties continue to take place regularly.

On Sunday, the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking was observed with the theme —Value yourself... make healthy choices.

“School and college curriculum should formally apprise the younger generation of the two faces of drugs -- the dream world that soon turns into a nightmare,” Jiwal said, adding that parents also need to be educated. In fact many would not know the difference between different addictions.

“The usual attitude is: ‘my kids would never do so’. Drug abuse is not restricted to any strata of society. Rich kids pulling cocaine for Rs. 5,000 a night are no better than Rs. 150 heroin chasers on the streets,” he said.

“Making a healthy choice can be facilitated by a well drawn educative programme with a strong rehabilitation back-up. If the message against AIDS can be carried to all levels and sections of society, why not the fight against drug abuse?

“More so when highest incidents of contacting AIDS through injections is amongst intravenous drug abusers.”


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