Tamil Nadu fourth in drug menace suicide cases


Chennai: It’s not a ranking the state can be proud of. Going by the  National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), ­Tamil Nadu ranks fourth in the number of suicides related to drug abuse/ addiction in the country.
While the state saw  242 suicides in 2012  linked to drug abuse,  6.6 per cent lesser than in 2011, when the figure was 258, the situation continues to be worrying.   Drug abuse has pushed 55 people to suicide in Madurai, followed by Tiruchy (26) and Coimbatore (12). Chennai seems to have some reason for hope, however, as it has reported zero suicides as against 92 last year.
But alarmingly, suicides related to drug abuse/ add­iction are growing across the country with 4008 rep­orted  in 2012 as against 3343 in 2010, and 3658 in 2011. With the Interna­tio­nal Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficki­ng being observed on Wed­nesday, experts in the field are calling for greater effort to deal with the problem.
While the Narcotics Control Bureau  says it targets youngsters and organizes several awareness programmes on drug abuse, besides taking steps to reduce both the demand and supply of drugs, Dr Lakshmi Vijayakumar, psychiatrist and founder of Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre, says more needs to be done. “We need more de-addiction centres in the state, “ she maintains.
“Earlier NIB  seized brown sugar and this brought the sale of the drug under control. But now  brown sugar is again being widely used. Some students here in the city are addicted to expensive drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy. We need to create awareness about the dangers of drug use  among them as when addicts  can’t buy drugs and  get withdrawal symptoms , they tend to become suicidal at times,”  she explains.

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