A recent study found that peer pressure; surrogate advertisements of cigarette and alcohol companies, and movies are influencing high school and pre-university youth in the 15-18 age group to abuse tobacco, drugs, and alcohol. A joint study by Link De-Addiction and Counseling Center and Indo-Global Social Service Society studied 2835 students in Mangalore and found that 20.11% boys and 4.53% girls use tobacco and 26.6% boys and 10.33% girls consume alcohol. Of this group, 11.17% are regular drinkers.
In an alarming new trend, 6.31% of boys and 1.18% of girls admit to using drugs. Among the boys, 15.09% say that they like brown sugar, heroin, etc, 37.73% smoke cannabis like ganja, and 47.18% abuse medical drugs like cough syrups, pain killers, and sleeping tablets. Of the sample, 23.28% do drugs daily, 16.43% weekly, and 60.29% occasionally.
This alarming trend in a sleepy third-level town such as Mangalore is alarming because one can only guess the figures in urban areas that take pride of its pub-culture such as Bangalore. Lack of age verification and adequate alcohol testing and enforcement by police coupled with the availability of disposable income in families leading to generous pocket money is fuelling the trend for children to abuse these substances.