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Modern Society and the Rise of Cannabis Abuse among Adolescents in India

Patil Sameer Raghunath


Adolescence is one of the most complicated and significant stages of growth in an individual. It is that part of development that occurs during the period from puberty to adulthood and is also commonly referred to as the teenage years. The goal of this stage is maturity and the development of self and social acceptance. It is here that the individual develops opportunities for growth in maturity, responsibility, competence and self-esteem. However due to the drastic changes in the socio-economic conditions in the world as well as in India in the past few decades, there has been a major shift in the way the teen brain is coping up with this change. In the modern world, being successful is related to achievements in academics, careers, finances, without which you are termed otherwise. Intense competition and extreme mental pressure from family and peers to achieve, the adolescent youth start to look outside of themselves to seek acceptance and to feel good. According to Dr Gabor Mate, a prominent activist who worked with addicts in downtown Vancouver, Canada, rightly summarised, that addiction is a direct result of the change in the world structure following industrialisation, urbanisation and migration of the native aboriginal population, that has loosened and let go of the traditional ways of social control, making it difficult to manage the pressures and stresses of this modern life. A genetic predisposition to addictive behaviour, social isolation due to personality traits, family status, childhood family issues and trauma, inadequate coping skills and lack of social support, are some of the many risk factors that drive these young individuals to experiment with drugs. Cannabis, in particular needs special mention here, as little research has been done on cannabis abuse and its effects on the adolescent brain. This study focuses on the recent rise of cannabis abuse among adolescents in India. There will be a discussion on perspectives and the results derived from the recent nationwide study, The Magnitude of Substance Abuse in India, 2019, and other related research journals. The study will conclude with suggestions on planning effective strategies.


Adolescence, risk factors, addiction, strategies, cannabis, bio-psycho-social, modern society, consumerism, Marijuana, Ganja, weed, Hashish, Bhang, Opiates, stimulants, hallucinogens, alcohol

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