(a) whether the Government is aware that more and more school children are experimenting with drug abuse in the city at an early age and that the age group at which the children were using drugs is fast dipping;

(b) if so, whether any recent study has been conducted by the Government to assess the magnitude of the drug abuse problem among the school going children in the city;

(c) if so, the details thereof;

(d) the sources of procurement of the drugs by the school children identified by the Government; and

(e) the measures taken/proposed to be taken by the Government to effectively tackle the growing drug abuse among the school children?

Answer given by the minister


(a), (b) & (c) The Government of India in collaboration with the United Nations office of Drugs and Crime have conducted a National Survey on Extent, Pattern and Trends of Drug Abuse in India. The age group of the sample in this survey was between 12-60 years. As per the survey the prevalence of drug use in sample size of 8,587 within the age group 12-18 years was as follows:

		Cannabis				3.0%
		Opiates					0.1%

(d) School children often procure drugs from pushers and peddlers who frequent the locality where the educational institutions are situated. Some of them also get their drugs from their peers who are already into drug abuse.

(e) Students at the Secondary/Higher Secondary level are vulnerable to slipping into drug abusing behaviour due to stress factors, peer influence, hormonal changes etc. It is felt that educating them on the ill effects of drug abuse, through appropriate inputs in the school curricula, can help reduce the numbers succumbing to this vice. The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment as the nodal Ministry for prevention of alcoholism and substance abuse is in dialogue with the Ministry of Human Resource Development for including these inputs in the school curriculum. The Ministry also funds voluntary organizations that are running awareness programmes in the area of drug abuse prevention. These organizations cover schools and colleges under their outreach programmes. Besides, as a measure of checking the peddling of the drugs to students the sale of such substance in the vicinity of any school/educational institution attracts higher than the minimum punishment for such offences.