Vijayawada: Suicides related to drug abuse or alcohol addiction saw an increase of over 27 percent in Andhra Pradesh in 2020.

The Covid-19 pandemic was also the reason for the increase in suicides. Some people ended their lives because they could not get drugs and alcohol during the lockdown in 2020.

National Crime Records Bureau's (NCRB) report on Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India revealed that a total of 385 people including nine women and one transgender committed suicide in Andhra Pradesh in 2020 due to drug abuse and alcohol addiction.

In 2019, 302 people including seven women ended their lives for drug abuse and alcohol addiction in the state.

Though there is no pragmatic data to establish the increasing ganja (weed, hemp, cannabis) consumption in Andhra Pradesh, around 0.2 percent of people use cannabis products in the state. Some people are addicted to sedatives and LSDs and a few others.

Experts said that curiosity, peer pressure, and expecting to stimulate sexual desires are the key reasons for drug addiction.

Drug abuse and alcohol addiction have been driving at least 250 to 300 persons to suicide every year in Andhra Pradesh.

Dr. Uma Mahendra Raj of Green Valley Foundation, which deals with substance-addicted patients, said some youngsters find joy and excitement in drugs.

"Increased stress, boredom, losing livelihood, anxiety, and few others have increased the use of cannabis and others. Overconsumption of drugs/alcohol and difficulty to get the drugs/alcohol were also the reasons for the suicides in the state," she added.

Noted psychiatrist NN Raju said fear and free time during the pandemic have led to anxiety and depression among the people. "The Covid-19 was also the reason for the increase in drug abuse and alcohol addiction suicides," he said.

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