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Faith-based entities can help reduce drug substance abuse: Experts

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Rohit Shishodia
Experts have opined that faith or religion based organizations can help reduce drug dependence in youngsters. They say that these organizations can play a protective and preventive role while addressing the problem of substance abuse.

Speaking at a "Consultation with Faith Based Organizations for Developing Comprehensive Health and Rights Based Response to Drugs in Delhi", Prof. Dr Anju Dhawan from the Department of Psychiatry, Delhi-AIIMS, said that a large number of people need help for quitting drugs. It is good and very important that faith based organizations are coming forward and helping the youth. Prevention is such a thing that cannot be done by individuals alone. The entire community has to do it.

Dr Dhawan said that it has been studied in the world that spirituality and religion play a protective role for reducing substance abuse because it saves people from apathy and dullness.

Dr Dhawan pointed out, “Earlier, people from 30 to 40 years of age used to come for treatment for drug addiction, but now youngster between 20 to 25 years are coming in large numbers. Even children below 18 years are coming in large numbers for treatment of addiction such as smack. Substance use and its acceptance have increased among women in India.”

Dr Dhawan said that limiting the availability of substances and multi-component interventions delivered through families, schools, work places, religious settings, health sector and environment venues can help in quitting drugs.

Drug addiction is a complex disease in which brain circuits are involved but these circuits can be activated by meditation.

A senior officer of India's Narcotics Control Bureau echoed the views of Dr Dhawan and said that faith based organizations come in handy in spreading awareness against substance abuse.

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