Campaign activities are being evolved in two urban poor settings in Bengaluru where the problem of drugs is being reported among children and young people
On 10th April,2023 two of the FSHI team members participated at the planning meeting with 40 Mullah’s and community leaders for prevention of drug abuse in Padarayanpura,Mysore Road. The mullahs and the local leaders are keen to support the initiative.
Launching of the Campaign Suraksha -for Drug abuse free Bengaluru on The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
26th June is observed as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The theme for 2023 is ‘People first-Stop Stigma and Discrimination – Strengthen prevention. The global campaign by the United Nations calls to:
- Raise awareness about the negative impact of stigma and discrimination on people who use drugs and their families.
- Empower young people and communities to prevent drug use and addiction.
According to the report on the magnitude of substance abuse in India by the ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in 2019, the following are the numbers for various category of drug abuse in the age group of 10-75
- Alcohol is the most common with 14.6% (16 crore)
- Cannabis: About 2.8% of the population (3.1 crore)
- Opioids: About 2.1% (2.26 crore)
- Sedatives (nonmedical, non-prescription use) About 1.08% (1.18 crore)
- Cocaine (0.10%),
- Amphetamine Type Stimulants (0.18%)
- Hallucinogens (0.12%)
One of the challenges indicated by the report is that absence of reliable and in-depth estimates of population affected by drug use problems, This affects in policy formulation and planning programme implementation.
Therefore, FSHI in collaboration with various stakeholders organised a consultation in Iliyas Nagar in Bengaluru South from where the local youth leader Mr Gulab Pasha had sought the help of FSHI to evolve an action plan to address the issue. A campaign approach was thought as the need of the hour to combat the situation in Bengaluru. Accordingly, Campaign Suraksha was launched to evolve an action plan to address the following areas:
- Awareness creation on harmful effects of drug abuse
- Dealing with vulnerable people
- Early identification and treatment
- Monitoring the demand and supply system
The stakeholders of the campaign would include, community leaders, youth volunteers, families, school teachers, children in school and out of school, government departments, academic institutions, health care institutions and civil society organisations.
More than 150 people who participated in the event, which include local community leaders, youth, interns from Bhagawan Buddha Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Bengaluru, and mental health and public health experts such as Dr Jayant Mahadevan. Associate Professor, Dept of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Dr U Sahayaraj, CFTFK-FSHI and Dr Anupama Deshmukh, Professor & HOD, Department of Community medicine, Bhagwan Buddha Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital. Experts from two deaddiction and rehab homes in the city such as Ummeed Deaddiction and Rehab Centre, Abhayam Trust.
The campaign launch was presided over by Shri H E Krishnamurthy, Joint Commissioner, Bommanahalli Zone, BBMP. Mr Krishnamurthy in his address said, under him there 16 BBMP wards and he would be willing to be part of the core group to evolve an action plan to pilot in one of the wards. He said in his address ‘” the problem is so complex it needs a multi-pronged approach by the mutli-stakeholders” Dr Jayanth in his address said there are grave consequences for going deeper in to drug abuse. “There is a need to identify early those experimenting with drugs and refer them for treatment, in this everyone in the community needs to be involved.”
Dr Sahayaraj in his address said. “Addressing vulnerable population such as children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) would emerge as an important action of the campaign”. He said he would support the campaign by training, parents and teachers on identifying and dealing with children suffering from ADHD.
Dr Rasheed for Umeed Deaddiction Centre said, they would be supporting the campaign with preventive measures. He said, “we would consider giving free treatment and rehabilitation services to the deserving candidates who are identified from the project areas.”
Mr Albert, the Executive Eirector of Abhyam an ex injectable drug addict, who was thrown out of the house and lived in the streets shared his experience of transformation. Albert said his centre would be willing to provide free of care and support to any addicting who is willing to change. Albert in his address cautioned “there is an increase in number of young women resorting to drugs in the city, and it is an indication that the problem is growing, there is a need to address it urgently”.
Mr S J Chander campaign lead in his address said, “there is a need to evolve a surveillance system to monitor the drug situation in the community and it is being evolved by learning from other drugs prevention programmes across the globe. It will be one of the focus areas of the campaign.”
For more information please contact: Mr Gulab Pasha @9886549341 or Mr S J Chander@ 9448034152