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Friday, Jun 26, 2020 14:15 [IST]

Last Update: Friday, Jun 26, 2020 08:36 [IST]

Lockdown and addiction

The outbreak of COVID 19 virus has drastically changed the perspective pertaining to addiction of different forms in children and youths of our society. LOCKDOWN and ADDICTION are interrelated like two face of a coin and had has its own pros and cons. Lockdown brings about sharp decline in the availability of addictive substances in the market if it’s strictly followed. This gradually leads a substance abuser to the state of withdrawal which in numerous occasions becomes unmanageable to the abuser causing serious physical and psychological illness. Medical intervention along with empathic approach is must during this period. It is therefore crucial to strengthen de addiction centres and keep it well equipped and accessible during lockdown.
Shutting down of educational institutions with a motive to maintain social distancing and further spreading of this lethal virus leading to community outbreak compelled the education stakeholders to conduct online classes and take aid of digitalization. Undoubtedly it did open a new horizon in teaching learning process; it also produced fresh set of mobile and Internet addict children who are busy in all sorts of social networking sites, online mobile gaming, apps of different forms and to porn sites. In some cases, easy access to mobile phones have enabled children to set their meeting zone for unhealthy and unproductive activities. Many teenagers have turned out to be paid labourers in various sectors enabling them to have access to money, self-respect and identity. Now they have become capable enough to buy their own stuffs of dual nature, both positive and negative. It is highly predicted that the school shall witness high rate of dropout ratio post lockdown as for the majority of these teens, the smell of cash is much luring than that of knowledge. If these children are not monitored adequately, it’s going to be very challenging to bring them back to the mainstream.
In the context of Sikkim, complete lockdown at its initial stage played a pivotal role in controlling the Pandemic, however lifting up the lockdown of liquor shop either to interrupt the black marketing or for some other unavoidable reasons has exposed the dark side of drug dependence of the state.  It has left a very bad impression on our youth.
The brighter side of this lockdown pertaining to addiction is that, it has provided the parents with ample opportunity to understand and empathize their children problems and reflect back on their positive aspect. It also gave an opportunity to help and support the victim during the withdrawals related to alcohol and other substance abuse. Had the lockdown on liquor not been lifted so early and through proper medical interventions; there was an immense chance in the growth of recovered alcoholic patients in our State.
The mission initiated by SAATHI to combat drug abuse and related disorders like suicide among our youths in the state shall only be on track if we all join hands for this noble cause. We all need to play our role wisely, be a vigilant parent, frame appropriate policies and extend individual support for lending a better society to our coming generation. “Together we can.”
Let’s all pray together for getting rid of this unruly and shabby path of COVID 19 cloud and everything turns normal very soon. Stay at home, stay healthy and safe.
(The writer is Teacher coordinator, SAATHI, TLNSSS,  Central Pendam)

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi