Drug abuse among students on rise in Kerala, police tell High Court.

Source – newindianexpress.com

KOCHI: Educational institutions in Kerala seem to have become a hotbed of drug peddlers as 223 cases have been registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) till October 31 this year in connection with the seizure of drugs from various school and college premises.

In a statement filed before the Kerala High Court, Kerala Police said there has been a steep rise in the detection of narcotic substances and tobacco products from the premises of educational institutions.
State police chief Loknath Behera submitted before the High Court that the police seized 76.150 kg of ganja, 173 psychotropic tablets and 348gm of dry ganja from the premises of educational institutions during the period. The total number of cases registered under the NDPS Act was 8,028 till October 31. The ADGP (Intelligence) also submitted the details of intelligence inputs on drug abuse in different educational institutions in the state in a sealed cover.

The statement was filed in response to a suo motu case initiated based on a letter sent by retired IPS officer N Ramachandran highlighting the increase in drug abuse cases and related crime. Senior government pleader Suman Chakravarthy submitted that along with the diverse and multiple sources of supply of narcotic substances, what is more alarming is the increase in demand for intoxicating substances among the youth and children in the state.

Moreover, narcotic substance abuse and criminal behaviour are interrelated and often lead to grave crimes by the abusers, especially juveniles. To break the supply chain, the police have focused on intelligence collection, detention and effective investigation of the NDPS cases.

The statement said statistics showed that there was an increase in drug abuse among all categories of people, especially adolescents and children, and smuggling of narcotic drugs had also increased. Intelligence collection using technology and human resources would be strengthened and interstate and interagency coordination enhanced to detect and contain drug trafficking.

Campaigns launched
The state police have initiated various programmes to address the increasing demand for drugs and divert the energy of adolescents and youth to various creative programmes. That apart, the police have been playing an active role in strengthening the functioning of anti-narcotic clubs in educational institutions formed by the excise department. They are also working with various non-governmental and government agencies such as Vimukthi in providing professional help and rehabilitating the identified drug addicts.

Statewide campaigns with slogans like ‘Yes to football, No to drugs’, ‘Yes to cricket, No to drugs’ and ‘Yes to arts, No to drugs’ are also being organised, said the police chief.