Bengaluru: The workshop titled “Preventing Substance Abuse Among Young People” was inaugurated on Saturday in Bengaluru, Karnataka, by the NIMHANS Center for Well-Being (NCWB), an urban community mental health center of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), which operates the Substance Abuse Free Existence (SAFE) clinic.
The workshop aims to equip youth workers with the knowledge and skills to help them identify and propose appropriate interventions for substance use among youth in the community. These stakeholders include college teachers and administrators, staff working with child welfare organizations, and community health workers.
Over the next year, NIMHANS will hold a number of workshops on related topics. According to NIMHANS specialists, academic stress, peer pressure, performance anxiety and socio-economic inequalities are among the top concerns that affect young people and play an important role in initiating substance use.
“There are issues that cause people to use drugs. During Covid we saw that loneliness was an issue and many people frequently experienced feelings of depression and the idea that life was not worth the pain of being lived in. This leads to addiction and a subset of those who are addicted to substances for pleasure do exist,” according to Dr. Pratima Murthy, Director of NIMHANS.
She continued, “In her session, teachers will provide training on how to create a group of healthy, productive individuals and how to de-stigmatize mental health disorders.”
According to Dr. Vivek Benegal, Professor of Psychiatry at the Center for Addictive Medicine, NIMHANS, children at high risk of developing drug addiction also have internet addiction.
“The foundations of addiction are laid early. There are studies that look at the group of people most likely to become addicted. Children who begin a task with a strong sense of motivation may lose that enthusiasm halfway through,” said said Dr. Benegal.
“Teachers identify them as fickle and send them to the back of the class. They have high intelligence but are impulsive. When something happens they get really agitated and angry because they get emotional. mobile phones and they are addicted to the internet,” he added.
“At SAFE, we believe that disease prevention is crucial, and here we address the danger of substance use,” said Dr. Prasanthi Nattala, Additional Professor, Department of Nursing and Nursing Consultant at the Center for Medicine of drug addiction, NIMHANS. “So that they can help young people, we want to focus on those who are involved in the well-being of young people,” she added.