Monday December 10, 2018

Kerala launches crusade against alcohol, drug abuse

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

With an aim to curb and overcome alcohol, drug and other substance abuse, the Kerala government on Sunday initiated a campaign called “Subodham”.

The project was launched by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Art of Living Foundation founder Sri Sri Ravishankar here in the presence of religious leaders, representatives of student organisations and NGOs working against drug abuse.

Speaking at launch Oommen Chandy said, “The state government aims to wipe out the menace of substance addiction from our society through ‘Subodham’. If total alcohol prohibition could save the society, the state government is ready to forego the revenue from the sale of liquor that is around Rs.7,000 crore per annum.”

Sri Sri Ravishankar said, “Kerala can become a model-state in anti-alcohol and drug awareness as well as rehabilitation initiatives. This initiative is very much a need of the hour. It will be a great achievement if we can implement the project successfully.”

The “Subodham” project, envisaged by the excise department, will be implemented by a high-level committee comprising experts from various fields.

Excise Minister K. Babu, who is also the chairman of “Subodham”, said: “The campaign aims to free one lakh people from drug and alcohol addiction each year.

“‘Subodham’ heralds the first step towards ‘Punarjani 2030 Project’, a state government initiative to completely eradicate the menace of substance abuse in Kerala.”, he added.

The state education department, meanwhile, agreed to include anti-drug and alcohol awareness content in the state curriculum from the next academic year.

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Cannabis Use Has Lasting Effects on Cognitive Skills in Teenagers Than Alcohol

Moreover, these increased with cannabis use and also were long-lasting compared to alcohol

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While both alcohol and marijuana misuse are known to be associated with impairments in learning, memory, attention and decision-making, as well as with lower academic performance, a new study claimed that cannabis use has lasting effects on cognitive skills in teenagers than alcohol.

The findings, led by researchers at Universite de Montreal, showed cannabis affected cognitive functions such as perceptual reasoning, memory recall, working memory and inhibitory control.

Moreover, these increased with cannabis use and also were long-lasting compared to alcohol.

“Increases in cannabis use, but not alcohol consumption, showed additional concurrent and lagged effects on cognitive functions such as perceptual reasoning, memory recall, working memory and inhibitory control,” said Patricia Conrod, from the varsity.

“Of particular concern was the finding that cannabis use was associated with lasting effects on a measure of inhibitory control, which is a risk factor for other addictive behaviours, and might explain why early onset cannabis use is a risk factor for other addictions,” added Jean-Francois G. Morin, doctoral student at Montreal.

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Cannabis more ‘toxic’ to teenage brains than alcohol: Study. Pixabay

“Some of these effects are even more pronounced when consumption begins earlier in adolescence,” Morin added.

For the study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the team followed a sample of 3,826 Canadian high school students from 7th to 10th grade over a period of four years.

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In a context where policies and attitudes regarding substance use are being reconsidered, this research highlights the importance of protecting youth from the adverse effects of consumption through greater investment in drug-prevention programmes.

“While this study did not detect effects of teenage alcohol consumption on cognitive development, the neurotoxic effects may be observable in specific subgroups differentiated based on the level of consumption, gender or age,” Morin said. (IANS)