NEW DELHI: A study has shockingly revealed that the north-east state of Meghalaya has the highest substance abuse (tobacco and heroin) amongst children in the country followed closely by some other North Eastern states. Even alcohol consumption among children in the state is also comparatively higher.

In a further startling revelation, it was found that the use of such substances is only rising among the school kids when it should have rather been on a decline.

The study titled ‘Assessment Of Pattern, Profile And Correlate Of Substance Use Among Children In India’, was commissioned by the National Commission For Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and conducted in 27 states by the National Drugs Dependent Treatment Center of All Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

This study has taken cue from the petition filed by Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi through his NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan in the Supreme Court regarding the drug abuse proliferation in India, which has to be replied by the State Governments including Meghalaya by next weekend.

Use of tobacco is highest at 96.4% among school children in Meghalaya, closely followed by Nagaland at 95.8% and Sikkim at 93.1% and another Hill State Uttaranchal at 90%.

What is further surprising are the statistics for the other “modern”, “advanced” states. For instance, in Goa, only 36.7% children consume tobacco while Delhi consumption too is comparatively less at 69.7%.

Another startling revelation is with respect to the use of heroin, which was seen to be highest in Meghalaya at 27.3%, followed by Punjab at 19.3%.

However, heroin use in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Bihar stood at nil.

As far as inhalants are concerned, 68.3% kids of Tripura used inhalants, followed by Madhya Pradesh at 66.5%. In Maharashtra, this number stood at 60.6% with 49% in Sikkim.In Haryana, this number stood at 46.7%, in Odisha at 40%, in Delhi and Rajasthan at 39%, in Manipur at 32.3%, and in Meghalaya at 30.9%. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat reported a low 7-8%, with Goa being the lowest at 5%.