Thursday February 27, 2020

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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Here’s Why Weight-Oriented Bullying Can Increase Alcohol Consumption Risk in Adolescents

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The study showed frequent weight-based teasing was associated with higher levels of alcohol use, binge drinking and marijuana use. Pixabay

Adolescents bullied about their weight or body shape are more likely to use alcohol or marijuana than others, according to a new study.

According to the study, published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, the link between appearance-related teasing and substance use was the strongest among overweight girls, raising special concerns about this group.

“This type of bullying is common and has many negative effects for adolescents. The combination of appearance-related teasing and the increased sensitivity to body image during adolescence may create a heightened risk for substance use,” said study lead author Melanie Klinck from University of Connecticut in the US.

The study, conducted at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, involved 1,344 students, aged 11-14 years, from five public middle schools near Hartford, Connecticut. They were asked if siblings, parents or peers teased them about their weight, body shape or eating during the past six months.

More than half (55 per cent) of the participants, which included three out of four overweight girls (76 per cent), 71 per cent of overweight boys, 52 per cent of girls and 43 per cent of boys who weren’t overweight, reported weight-based teasing.

The participants were also asked about their alcohol and marijuana use.

The study showed frequent weight-based teasing was associated with higher levels of alcohol use, binge drinking and marijuana use.

In a follow-up survey six months later, weight-based teasing was also found to be linked to alcohol use and binge drinking.

Man, Thick, Sad, Underwear, Overweight, Obese, Heh
Adolescents bullied about their weight or body shape are more likely to use alcohol or marijuana than others, according to a new study. Pixabay

Previous research had found boys had greater substance use possibility in their teens and early adulthood, but girls begin taking alcohol and drugs at an earlier age compared with boys.

According to the researchers, those trends may be related to the societal pressures for girls to adhere to unrealistic body image ideals. It can damage their sense of self-worth and contribute to eating disorders and self-medication through substance use to cope with teasing or fit in with peers.

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“These findings raise larger issues about how society places too much emphasis on beauty and body image for girls and women, and the damaging effects that may result,” said study researcher Christine McCauley Ohannessian. (IANS)