GUWAHATI, Dec 23 - A former female drug-user, who recently underwent de-addiction therapy, has claimed that drug abuse among girls is on the rise in Assam. �In the past three years, there has been a substantial increase in substance abuse cases among girls in the State. The scenario is particularly alarming in upper Assam. The present situation in Guwahati is at present almost out of control. But in lower Assam, the rate of substance abuse among girls is lower compared to Upper Assam,� she told The Assam Tribune.
Wishing anonymity, she stated that not only in urban areas but in remote villages of upper Assam districts like Dhemaji and Lakhimpur, illicit drugs are now readily available. In State capital Guwahati, the number of girls falling prey to drugs is almost equal to that of boys. �Ten years ago, when I started taking drugs, then we did not have the courage to take drugs openly. But now the scenario has undergone a drastic change. For the youth of Guwahati, taking drugs in a party has now turned into a fashion. Most of the girls using drugs are in their teens and they are taking undue advantage of so-called progressive society,� she said.
The alarming situation in the State is corroborated by the report �Magnitude of Substance Use in India 2019� published by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
According to the report, in Assam 1.9 lakh people need help for cannabis-related problems, 0.5 per cent people in the age group of 10-75 years use ganja, 15.2 per cent people of same age group consume alcohol and 2.5-4.9 per cent such people are suffering from disorders related to alcohol consumption and 2.10 per cent people in the age group of 10-17 years are addicted to different illicit drugs.
The former drug-abuse victim � now engaged in de-addiction and rehabilitation of drug addicts in the city � said, �Most of the girls who are undergoing treatment at our rehabilitation centre belong to rich and reputed families. The situation is very alarming and the cases of drug abuse among girls are increasing rapidly.�
She said two teenaged girls died due to drug overdose at Silapathar and Nagaon recently.
�In most cases, parents try to cover up the drug addiction of their daughters and it ultimately causes delay in their de-addiction treatment. Use of illicit drugs causes multiple effects to a girl. First, they become weak and it further leads to various gynaecological disorders. Ultimately the addiction adversely impacts their career.�