'Tobacco, alcohol most common substances used by streetkids'

Tobacco and alcohol have been found to be most common substances used by street children, Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Gandhi informed Parliament on Friday.

New Delhi: Tobacco and alcohol have been found to be most common substances used by street children, Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Gandhi informed Parliament on Friday.

According to a study by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to collect information on the pattern of substance use among children, it was found that the percentage of inhalant and opium users was higher in the children living on the street than in those living at home.

It also said that more than 50 per cent children living on the streets are reported to have bad or very bad relationship or no relationship with the family.

The study titled 'Assessment of pattern, profile and correlates of substance use among children in India' was carried out in 2012-13, to collect information on pattern of substance use and profile of children using substances and to collect information on family, peer, stress, psychological, physical health and legal aspects associated with substance use among children.

"Tobacco and alcohol were the most common substances used by children, followed by cannabis and inhalants, pharmaceutical opioids, sedatives, heroin and opium," the Minister said while replying to a question in Lok Sabha.

Informing about steps being taken by the government to check drugs and substance use among children, she said WCD is implementing centrally sponsored Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) since 2009-10 for children in difficult circumstances, including victims of substance abuse.

Under the scheme, financial assistance is provided to State Governments and UT administrations for setting up and maintenance of various types of homes, including shelter homes, open shelters, etc.  

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