India

With rise in substance abuse cases, Goa cops reach out to kids

With rise in substance abuse cases, Goa cops reach out to kids

WITH CASES of substance abuse increasing among locals, Goa State Police on Saturday launched an awareness initiative to reach out to children across schools in the state.

The police said that the need for the move, was felt after an increasing number of alcohol-related accidents and cases of drug abuse among youth were reported in Goa.

On Saturday, police roped in medical experts from Goa Medical College and visited Our Lady of Merces school in north Goa to give the maiden lecture. “In our records, we have a lot of offenders coming from areas around Merces. These are youths who have fallen on bad times. We are hoping to reach out to the children in this area and ensure they do not get influenced by substance abuse,” said Superintendent of Police, North Goa, Chandan Choudhary. “These are impressionable minds and we need to ensure we reach out to them before they take to anything wrong,” he added.

According to Choudhary, the awareness campaign will be conducted systematically in all schools and police officials will make an appeal to children through case studies and presentations. On Saturday, Dr Rajesh Patil, a laparoscopic surgeon from Goa Medical college, who has presented a paper on alcoholism, spoke to children of Classes 8 to 10 at Our lady of Merces school. He talked about the various illnesses one could contract due to substance abuse. “This is also about reaching them at a young age. Many must be seeing alcohol consumption at home or are forced into substance abuse due to peer pressure. We will evolve this programme and take it to all schools with much force,” he said.

Dr Patil also asked the students to make at least one visit to an Alcoholics Anonymous workshop along with their parents.

“There is a general stigma attached to it. It is necessary to understand what the individual goes through. In fact, I would advise everyone, including adults to just sit in one session and hear the stories. It will change the way we look at things,” he said.