Amritsar, June 10 . Punjab has a high incidence of drug abuse in the 16 to 35 age group with the problem more acute in the rural areas where unemployment is rampant, according to a study.
The report, "Drug Addiction in Punjab: A Sociological Study", released by Punjab Governor S F Rodrigues here today, said an increasing number of youth in the villages of Punjab were taking to drugs like smack (brown sugar).
The study - which surveyed urban and rural youth, both illiterate and educated, between the ages of 16 and 35 - said the intake of drugs was higher among rural youth primarily due to unemployment in those areas.
It attributed the high levels of addiction to poverty, lack of awareness and easy availability of drugs and pointed out that government service among other factors reduced the chances of addiction.
Rodrigues said a crusade against drug abuse was required and recommended an "institutionalized mechanism" with legal, social, administrative and medical support to combat the menace.
He also underscored community participation in the drive against addiction.
A paper on the increasing practice of female feticide in the state due to "deep-rooted gender bias" was also presented at the function at function at Guru Nanak Dev University. It suggested an effective legal and social framework besides women's empowerment to tackle the problem.