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More girls falling prey to drug addiction, say psychiatrists SOMITA PAL ,DNA A rising number of girls are falling prey to drug addiction, say city psychiatrists, who have seen a spurt in the number of girls coming for de-addiction. Doctors blamed this trend on the easy availability of drugs and said that it has become a menace across all sections of society. Ten-fold rise in Cannabis addiction Dr Harish Shetty, senior psychiatrist at Dr LH Hiranandani hospital, said, "In the last 2 years, the number of girls coming with cannabis (weed/grass) addiction has gone up by 10 times." Apart from easy availability, peer pressure and misinformation on substances played a key role in drug abuse among youth. It's a herb that enhances creativity, claim peers DR Y. A. MATCHESWALLA, in-charge GT hospital's de-addiction unit and head of the psychiatry department at Masina hospital said, "Girls tell me that their friends told them it is a herb and it enhances creativity etc. and that they have read it online. The fact is that this drug demotivates you, makes you lethargic, makes you unfocused and induces psychosis in many cases." Dr Shubhangi Parker, acting dean of KEM hospital, said, "This addiction can ruin careers as it affects a person's power of judgement apart from triggering psychosis and depression." Parents need to know the symptoms Doctors relate cannabis addiction in the age group of 13-25 to development problem. "It is very important for parents to pick up on behavioural changes in their child at the earliest. Adolescents are more susceptible to cannabis addiction. This age group wants to do something exciting. If they are going through a crisis and fall into bad company, they are certain to get into it," said DR MATCHESWALA. Doctors feel that the police need to crackdown on cannabis sellers in the city. Dr Shetty said, "You should trust your child completely but keep an eye on them. It is very important that you keep an eye if there is any change in your child's behaviour and habits. Dazed eyes, being lost, red eyes are the symptoms you should look for. Meet the teacher regularly and keep a track of the child's performance. In case he/she is bunking school, investigate the reason." He added that if the child is aggressive and violent for no reason, the parents should suspect cannabis and get a urine test done for confirmation. "Even if the urine tests comes positive, parents shouldn't shout at the child. Addiction should be treated like any other disease. Psychiatric intervention should be done," he added.

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