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Students pledge to never consume drugs and prevent others too

AIIMS scientist Dr Deepak Yadav and Nihar Hasabnis, HoD of Muktangan NGO, enlightened Apeejay students in a webinar about how drugs could worsen the quality of life



Apeejay Stya University (ASU) organised a webinar on the “International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking” to promote awareness about the issues among the youth. Titled “Youth Sensitisation Workshop”, the webinar was jointly conducted by the Rotaract Club of Apeejay Stya University, Gurugram (RACASUG) and the National Service Scheme (NSS).

Dr Deepak Yadav, chief scientist, National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, AIIMS Delhi, was invited as the chief guest along with Nihar Hasabnis, head of department-Awareness, Muktangan NGO, Mumbai, who was the guest of honour. The speakers enlightened the students on the problem of addiction and substance abuse—what kind of substances are addictive and why.

The attendees were also informed about the harmful effects of drugs on the body. The session was very interactive, and the students learned a lot. They further pledged to never abuse drugs. At the end of the session, the students were awarded e-certificates by the Narcotics Control Bureau whereby they committed to “consciously cooperate in stopping drug abuse and stay away from drugs to live a healthy life.”

Chandrajeet Dhara, a first-year student at the School of Biosciences, ASU, hosted the event along with two of his batchmates. “It was a very engaging session. The speakers shared some anecdotes to explain the impact of drug abuse. Dr Yadav also elaborated on how drugs affect motor neurons, psychomotor skills, and so on. He explained through a PowerPoint presentation and animation.”

International Day of Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is observed on June 26 every year. The date, recognised by the United Nations, commemorates Chinese philosopher and politician Lin Zexu’s dismantling of the opium trade in Humen, Guangdong, ending on June 25, 1839.

According to the “National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India” released by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in 2019, around 2.8 per cent of people are cannabis users while 0.66 per cent suffer from cannabis problems. Opioid users in the country amount to 2.06 per cent of which nearly 0.55 per cent require treatment. The number of people using sedatives (non-medical use) is about 1.08 per cent. It was further estimated that 8.5 lakh people are injecting drugs.

The need of the hour, therefore, is to sensitise the youth about the dangers of drug use and to help them learn to resist peer and social pressure.

“The youth of the 21st century should be aware of the negative impact of drugs. It’s not youth who consume drugs, it’s drugs which consume youth.”

-Dr Vijay Kumar, Associate Professor, School of Education, Apeejay Stya University

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Principal Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.