Youth taking to drugs on the rise – Prof. Perera

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More and more young people were consuming illegal drugs as the cost of goods and services in the country rises, as does the cost of liquor, President of the Mental Health Foundation Senior Professor at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Gnanadasa Perera said.

He said these illegal drugs were a low-cost alternative for those addicted to alcohol. He was speaking at a recent media briefing hosted by the Mental Health Foundation.

“As the use of drugs was on the rise, a set of people with mental illness has emerged. We have seen the negative effects of these conditions on society as we work to rehabilitate such drug addicts. Addiction to such drugs will not benefit society. The number of patients with mental disorders is rapidly increasing,” he said.

 He said to bring the situation under control, drug laws must be strengthened.

“We are dissatisfied with the existing Laws to control drug use. In fact, there is no regulation to combat drug use in Sri Lanka today,” he added.

Prof. Perera said illicit use was spreading among school children. He also said that propaganda was conducted on social media and that the direct target was school children.

 He said that if drug use is not regulated, it will escalate into a national health problem. (AK)