Drug Abuse: Too fast to live, too young to die
By: Uzma Nazir
In present times, our society is facing countless challenges like poverty, corruption, begging, underdevelopment, unemployment etc.; and all these problems contribute to give rise to a new problem and that is drug addiction.
As we all are aware about the fact that drug abuse has become the worst menace in our society and with every passing day the number of drug abusers is increasing and we as a society have totally failed to control this menace.
We can’t blame a particular corner of our society to be responsible for increasing drug abuse but all of us as individuals of our society, parents, government officials etc. are responsible for this menace. As it is said that it is never too late to mend, it is never too late to correct our mistakes; If we really want to save our society from this menace, every one among us has to come forward and play his role in eradicating drug addiction in our society.
Introduction: The drugs that are beneficial to humanity may also be the same drugs that are detrimental to mankind. It is of no argument that drugs are created to cure diseases and to alleviate human condition. However, people may misuse over the counter drugs and this is called drug abuse. It has become a social problem because it has afflicted the families, the economy and the community as a whole. Drug and alcohol abuse in our teenagers has become a major public health issue.
According to survey conducted by WHO there are about 7 million heroine addicts. There are 4.8milion cocaine abusers and 3.4 million addicts of narcotics.
Parents do you know?
Psychiatrists and Psychological counselors are of the opinion that when parents talk to their teenager regularly about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, they lessen the chance of their child using drugs by 42%! However, only 25% of teens report on actually having these conversations.
Drug abuse in India:
Every year 26th of June is celebrated as International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The survey estimates that in India, over a billion 62.5 million people use alcohol, 8.75 million use cannabis, 2 million people use opiates and 0.6 million use sedative or hypnotics. Drug addiction causes immense human distress and the illegal production and distribution of drugs has spawned crime and violence worldwide.
Today, there is no part of the world that is free from the curse of drug trafficking and drug addiction. Millions of drug addicts, all over the world are leading miserable lives, between life and death. India too is caught in this vicious circle of drug abuse and the number of drug addicts are increasing day by day.
Drug abuse is a complex phenomenon, which has various social, cultural, biological, geographical, historical and economic aspects. The disintegration of the old joint family system, absence of parental love and care in modern families where both parents are working, decline of old religious and moral values etc lead to a rise in the number of drug addicts who take drugs to escape hard realities of life.
The processes of industrialization, urbanization and migration have led to loosening of the traditional methods of social control, rendering an individual vulnerable to the stresses and strains of modern life. Drug addiction has led to a detrimental impact on the society. It has led to increase in the crime rates.
Addicts resort to crime to pay for their drugs. Incidence of eve teasing, group clashes, assault and impulsive murders increase with drug abuse. Apart from affecting financial stability, addiction increases conflicts and causes untold emotional pain for every member of the family. With most drug users being in the productive age group of 18-35years, the loss in terms of human potential is incalculable. The damage to the physical, psychological, moral and intellectual growth of the youth is very high.
Causes of drug abuse among youth
Peer pressure: Youths associates with different types of people otherwise known as friends, through the pressure from these friends, a child tends to have a taste of these drugs and once this is done, they continue to take it and get addicted to it in the long run.
Stress and Mental health: The modern world places immense stress on young individuals, be it academic expectations, societal expectations or personal challenges. In response, some turn to drugs as a means to cope with these pressures and escape from their problems temporarily.
Unemployment: Another major cause of drug abuse is said to be the rate of unemployment among youth. Due to unemployment, most of the educated youth turn to drugs to get rid of their mental stress and escape from the reality.
Easy accessibility: The advent of the internet and local drugs in markets has made various substances easily accessible. Online platform facilitates the purchase of prescription medication and illegal drugs, contributing to the growing drug epidemic among youths.
Curiosity: Some youths experiment with drugs out of sheer curiosity, underestimating the potential harm they may inflict upon themselves.
Effects of Drug addiction:
Social aspect: The hard drug makes the taker hyperactive at the point of taking the drug. This makes the taker to behave abnormally, contribute to immoralities such as armed robbery, sexually transmitted diseases and many other societal vices.
Financial effect: The person addicted to drugs tends to spend more money on the purchase of these drugs. This can make the taker to become bankrupt or start searching for money by all means. This will eventually increase the problems of the taker.
Health effect: It makes the taker to become unstable. The taker tends to go mad and starts behaving abnormally. It infiltrates a lot of diseases into the human organic system and can eventually lead to death.
Academic and career setbacks: Drug addiction disrupts education and career aspirations, hindering the realization of a young persons full potential. This setback can lead to a cycle of dependency and lost opportunities.
Legal complications: Engagement in drug related activities can result in legal troubles, further derailing the future prospects of youths. Criminal records may haunt them for years to come.
Remedies/solutions to Drug Abuse:
1.Aggressive extinction of all sources of these hard drugs including the farms where they are planted by a joint force of the UNO.
- Parents should monitor the kind of friends of children and guide them against bad company. Open and non judgemental conversations with children about drugs can foster trust and awareness.
- Rehabilitation of the affected persons.
- Teaching the bad effects of drug abuse in schools through different programmes.
- Accessible mental health services should be made available to help youths cope with stress and emotional issues in healthier ways.
- Continuous campaign against the use of hard drugs at the federal, state and local levels.
- Consent of a doctor should be sought before a prolong taking of a particular soft drug.
- Stiff penalty should be met out to anybody found dealing in hard drugs.
Conclusion: The abuse of alcohol and drugs has resulted in significant morbidity and mortality among adolescents worldwide. Many of these youth are losing their lives to drugs and alcohol and significant numbers are likely to grow up to become problem drug users.
Although the substance abuse problem is complex and large in magnitude, there is a substantial amount of evidence based research available to physicians, community leaders and schools to implement interventions that can decrease adolescent drug abuse rates. Thus, in short by prioritizing education, support and community engagement, we can work towards a society where young individuals are protected from the clutches of drug addiction.
(The author works as Headmistress at Dream House School Qammarwari Srinagar)