FRANKLY FRANK: Drugs in Goa schools? Don't look the other way

Acknowledging it is the first step; turning a blind eye to it will only aggravate the problem
DANGER ZONE: It is believed that there is widespread use of LSD among schoolchildren in Goa, with drugs being sold outside school compounds.
DANGER ZONE: It is believed that there is widespread use of LSD among schoolchildren in Goa, with drugs being sold outside school compounds.Photo: Gomantak Times

Prostitution and drugs are inherent parts of coastal life and that's an undeniable reality which many fail to see. Without strict law enforcement, tourism will always attract drugs and prostitution, and this is the reality of many tourist destinations across the world.

Goa too has not been spared from the scourge of drugs in some of its tourist pockets where many drug hauls have taken place.

DANGER ZONE: It is believed that there is widespread use of LSD among schoolchildren in Goa, with drugs being sold outside school compounds.
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So, when Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant rued the negative narrative linking Goa with drug culture in a section of the media, how does he counter another narrative that reports drugs have seeped into the social fabric of Goa, and, that too, shockingly among our younger generation?

On Thursday, June 27, if one of the Goan dailies is to be believed, a doctor in a troubling revelation said there was widespread use of LSD among school children, and to lure these youngsters it was given free to first-time users outside school compounds.

If one of the Goan dailies is to be believed, a doctor in a troubling revelation said there was widespread use of LSD among school children, and to lure these youngsters it was given free to first-time users outside school compounds.

This is a serious situation and highlights the need for strong intervention from the government to protect young people from drug peddlers who are luring schoolchildren with LSD, which is a powerful hallucinogenic drug.

The use of LSD among young people is disturbing but the method of enticing them with free samples is even more alarming as it amounts to resorting to a predatory tactic.

Let us hope the well-meaning doctor's concern has raised the alarm bells at the government level.

DANGER ZONE: It is believed that there is widespread use of LSD among schoolchildren in Goa, with drugs being sold outside school compounds.
From serene Goa to a destination for casino, drugs and prostitution

Earlier in May this year, Dr Dharmesh Angle told Gomantak Times Digital that the number of patients being treated for cannabis addiction had worryingly shot up with the drug having reached places like Dharbandora, Sankhali and the interior areas of the State.

Dr Angle heads the Addiction Treatment Facility (ATF) at the North Goa District Hospital.

Sawant's concern about the negative media portrayal of the drug menace is understandable. He wants his government to sweep the issue under the rug or rather just wash his hands off the problem. The CM's statement speaks of the disconnect between the perceived reality and the actual ground reality.

Sawant's concern about the negative media portrayal of the drug menace is understandable. He wants his government to sweep the issue under the rug or rather just wash his hands off the problem.

There surely is no drug culture in Goa as made out to be, and the CM may be right, but he has to acknowledge the fact that whatever drugs there are in the tourism sector have crossed legitimate boundaries and are poisoning our youth. And this has been happening for quite some time now.

From hereon, addressing the reality of drug use among children and youths will be crucial, as failing to do so will have serious consequences for their families. Ignoring the issue won't solve it; in fact, the families will have to suffer emotional and financial strain.

Addiction can put a strain on resources due to treatment costs, lost productivity, and potential legal issues.

DANGER ZONE: It is believed that there is widespread use of LSD among schoolchildren in Goa, with drugs being sold outside school compounds.
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Now that the problem has reached the doorsteps of our schools, it is for them to rise to the occasion and be more proactive, rather than resort to knee-jerk reactions.

By emphasising prevention and early intervention, schools can establish a supportive environment that deters initial drug use.

In this fast-paced society, peer pressure, stress and mental health issues among students are very common. Also, many schools lack positive outlets where their students can channel their talents and energy and this probably is leading them to take up bad habits like drugs.

Also, in this age of social media, information overload, and the competitive nature of our institutions have resulted in stress among students, which many parents and schools fail to acknowledge.

Also, in this age of social media, information overload, and the competitive nature of our institutions have resulted in stress among students, which many parents and schools fail to acknowledge.

By not depending on the government, which fails to acknowledge that drugs are prevalent in Goa, schools will take it upon themselves to address these underlying causes and empower students to make healthy choices, resist peer pressure, and make their mark in today's fast-paced world.

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