Drug addiction on the rise among students in Visakhapatnam

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The use of narcotics, injection drugs and ganja is on the rise in the city of Visakhapatnam. The misfortune is that young students become addicted, but it is too late, their parents know it.

It is up to parents and other family members to monitor behavioral changes in their children, especially students who are vulnerable to such influences and try to assess their mental state in addition to seeking professional help. as soon as possible. Quick action can save lives.

“Andhra University Psychological Assessment and Counseling Center receives two to three cases per week for counseling and treatment. The majority of those who come to our center are students from engineering and law schools, in addition to some students, who studied in Russia and returned after getting used to it,” said the director of the center, MVR Raju. The Hindu.

“The erratic classes and relaxation in attending some colleges gives a lot of freedom and makes some students think of new ways to kill time. Frequent quarrels between parents and sometimes parents’ insistence on taking a particular lesson, which students do not like, also cause stress and anxiety among young people. The easy availability of ganja, through a network of suppliers and online links, is very helpful for them to get into the habit,” he says.

“The problem begins with the victim’s disinterest in interacting with those around them, leading to emotional problems, mental health damage, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress and schizophrenia. Our center treats patients through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), education, social support and family help and aversion therapy,” says Professor Raju.

The Government Hospital for Mental Care (GHMC), located in the city, is the only tertiary care hospital for mental care in Andhra Pradesh. It has qualified psychiatrists and the necessary facilities to deal with such cases.

The Opioid Substitution Therapy Center (OST), inaugurated on January 6, 2020 at the GHMC, is a boon for people addicted to injection drugs. The center has a psychiatrist, a data manager, a counselor and a nurse to take care of the patients. Most of the patients who have undergone OST treatment have been completely cured and are now leading a normal life.

A total of 124 people had registered for treatment at OST from January to December 2020 and the number reached 165 at the end of November 2021. There was, however, a drop in new registrations in 2021, which can be attributed to the patient fears. in hospitals due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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