Easy availability of cannabis keeping number of potheads on the rise
New Delhi: The youth of Delhi seem to be turning a deaf ear towards warnings and continuing to smoke weed for get high. Weed consumption among the youth has increased heavily in the past few years, with cannabis – also referred to as weed – easily available at many places in Delhi-NCR.
Analysing various trends, clinical medical experts have thrown light on the sordid state of affair and the rapid rise in number of 'potheads'.
There are several reasons for the rise of this new addiction, with easy availability of cannabis a prime factor.
"The definition of happiness has changed for youngsters. The high, which weed gives, is happiness for them, which is worrisome. A lot of inquiries are made at our centre by families of the young weed addicts, and we are already treating some of them," says Additional Professor Nand Kumar, department of psychiatry at AIIMS, who deals with substance-addicted patients on a regular basis.
The hospital sees as many as 10 patients a month, with behavioral problems related to cannabis smoking. "It js shocking to see juveniles consuming marijuana, repercussions of which are really disturbing," Dr Kumar said, adding that use of marijuana has increased markedly among student in both schools and colleges and affecting their academics and psychosocial health.
A reason for the high number of cannabis smokers is because it is way cheaper than other drugs.
Explaining his weed addiction, 19-year-old college student, Anirban Ghosh (name changed) says, "Weed bought for Rs 100 can easily be shared by four people and it gives quite a good kick. Plus, it does not give a hangover like alcohol."
Another student Alok reveals that many students consume weed during exams, as they believe that it speeds up their learning process.
18-year-old Kartik believes that in addition to the changing trend and support for smoking weed by celebrities, peer pressure on teens pushes them to smoke cannabis.
He adds that renowned personalities, like Bob Marley and Miley Cyrus, supporting the drug seems to get more deep rooted as the years go by.
Despite being banned, cannabis is sold across Delhi, especially in townships and area such as Madangir near Malviya Nagar, Subhash Chowk near Huda City Centre in Gurugram, Indraprastha Park near Nizamuddin, Bhasoon near Manesar, Ajmeri Gate near New Delhi railway station, Sadar Bazar and Malibu Town, as suggested by some sources.
Doctors opine that the cannabis smoking youth of Delhi are approaching a dangerous future, as it could result in several disorders, like hormonal changes, depression, insomnia, etc.
Dr Deepali Batra, Clinical Psycologist and Director, Psychological-Academic-Learning Services (PALS) at Max Hospital, said, "Smoking weed can affect physical and mental health severely. It can result in delusions and hallucinations. Students have a tendency to go for it because of its impact, that gives them an instant high. It has become the gateway drug to the world of addiction. There is a false propaganda on the internet being done claiming marijuana as a "safe drug". No drug could be safe for young students in their physical and mental growth phase. It affects personality building, adaptability of professional skills, causes lack of concentration and impacts memory and knowledge retention abilities."
PALS currently receives around 20-25 addicted youth each month for rehabilitation.