As the holiday season kicks in, the usage of narcotics and banned substances sees a dramatic high with more and more revelers looking for narcotic nirvana during the New Year weekend. According to experts from the Drug Abuse Information Rehabilitation and Research Centre (DAIRRC), Mumbai, the revelers are getting high on drugs like never before and products such as cocaine and LSD have flooded the market.
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The centre has been getting patients from across the state who get 'overdosed' on such products, particularly during and after the New Year revelry. "For the past two years, we have been noticing one major difference in the drug intake habit of users. Now, they get overdosed on drugs such as LSD and Yaba, besides marijuana, which is becoming common among the revelers," says Dr Yusuf Merchant, president of the centre.
The centre has already started attending to patients of Yaba and LCD users, who experience an intense burst of energy, followed by increased activity, and an extreme sense of paranoia. For the past two years, the centre has been receiving about 25 cases per day in the first week of January.
"In the month of January only, we attend to more than 100 cases every year. They are brought to the centre only after their condition gets deteriorated. The youth have been taking 2-3 shots at a time, which make them victim of psychosis," adds Dr Merchant, whose patients are usually between the age group of 16 and 26.
"Normally, there are about 20,000 people on dope in major cities across the state through out the year, but during the New Year revelry the number swells to about two lakh," he added. The psychosis is so deep; he says that it takes about one year just to get them rehabilitated as 6-7 months are spent in just to get them out of neurosis, which includes symptoms like pupil dilation, hyper-activity, incessant chattering among other actions. The remaining three-four months goes into treatment.
On the other hand, sources in the Anti-Narcotics Cell say at least seven drug peddlers are being arrested on a daily basis in the metropolitan cities across the state. In the past one month, the officials claim they have arrested over more than 50 small-time dealers dealing in banned products.
"The anti-narcotic cell from the past couple of weeks has been cracking more than three cases related to the sale of Weed and Yaba every week," said an official from the cell. Niraj Shevde (27), a former drug addict who doped for nearly seven years, recalls his harrowing experience.
Shevde, now working as ward in-charge at Muktangan Rehabilitation Centre, said, "During those days my ties were severed with my near and dear ones. I had lost respect in the society. My life had no meaning. My only request to people is to never try drugs as once you start you will never be able to decide when to stop. It's better to stay away from this addiction."
>> Yaba: A range of tablets whose rates varies from Rs 200 to Rs 600 and is cheaper than rest of the drugs
>> Ecstasy: A tablet that costs between Rs 2,000 and 3000 and gives a high similar to Yaba
>> LSD: A dangerous hallucinogenic drug available between Rs 800 and Rs 1,000
>> Weed: Around 5gm of weed costs between Rs 1,000 and Rs 5,000 depending on the quality