By Mr. Gulzar Ahmad Ganie
Addiction brings apathy, break the apathy, and you break the addiction. “(Mango Wadzak)
Drug abuse, an emerging and challenging threat to modern society, has engulfed not only the Indian society but of the entire world and the lockdown restrictions during COVID-19 have accelerated drug trafficking using the Internet as reflected in “The United Nations Office on Drug and Crime” (UNODC) in its World Drug Report 2021. Between 2010 – 2019, the number of people using drugs increased by 22%. Around 275 million people used drugs worldwide last year, while over 36 million people suffered from drug use disorders.
Drug addiction means the use of drugs over a long period and to such an extent that it negatively affects the person’s physical, mental and social life. It is characterized by the inability to control or abstain from drug use despite its harmful consequences or keeping drug use over a long period
despite adverse effects. It is a severe problem across the globe and is one of the leading causes of death. The International Day against Drug Abuse and illegal Trafficking is observed on 26th June every year to strengthen action and cooperation in achieving a world free of drug abuse.
A large number of drugs available today include narcotics, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens and cannabis, in other words, opium, morphine, heroine, marijuana, bhang, hashish, LSD, codeine etc. Alcohol, marijuana, and heroine are the most commonly abused substances. Some drugs like bhang, hashish, tobacco, liquor are cheaper which a man of low income group can afford while drugs like heroin, LSD, morphine, etc. are costly.
Drugs help the person feel good about themselves and induce “dopamine” or the happiness hormone. As they continue to use the drug, the brain starts to increase dopamine levels, and the person demands more and thereby makes him vulnerable to regular drug abuse.
Once a person gets victimized by drug addiction, he suffers from a series of symptoms including mild to severe. He suddenly shows disinterest in work or school activities or a drop in grades or
work performance. He may also suffer from weight loss, lack of interest in clothing, redness of eyes, exaggerated efforts to bar family members from entering his or her room, being secretive about where he or she goes with friends, drastic changes in behavior and in relationships with family and friends, sudden requests for money without a reasonable explanation, frequent
missing of money or household items which may be sold to purchase drugs, repeated mood swings and anxious behavior.
Drug addiction is not caused by a single factor but multiple factors. Lack of self-confidence is an important cause of drug addiction. A person starts to take drugs when he fails to cope with the personal problems. A person also chooses drugs to get relief from Stress and personal and social pressure. Initially he thinks to reduce stress by smoking which often culminates in drug addiction. The lack of parental care in child’s activities also becomes a valid reason for addiction and it further gets strengthened by the easily availability of drugs in the area. Nowadays, access to drugs has become simpler than ever with online sales which remain hidden and safe for the addicts. The COVID-19 crisis has pushed more than 100 million people into extreme poverty, and has greatly exacerbated unemployment and inequalities as the world lost 255 million jobs in 2020.It is also driven in part by a rise in the use of technology and cryptocurrency payments, operating outside the regular financial systems.
Drug addiction is just like corrosion which initially makes a small hole in Iron but gradually eats it up completely. Similarly, in case of drug abuse, an individual initially gets mild effects which intensify with the passage of time and at last even kills the addict.
Drugs, including socially acceptable drugs, are harmful for the body as a whole. But the drugs
which have a high physical dependence are more dangerous for the health in comparison to others. As the concentration of alcohol increases in the blood, vision, hearing, smell, taste and muscle coordination’s are affected, resulting in staggering in one’s gait. The mental confusion enhances with even a small quantity of drug in take which is manifested in behavioral changes.Drug dependence hampers memory perception. It causes increased pulse rate, blood pressure,
loss of appetite, insomnia, severe weight loss, psychosis,violent behavior,poor comprehension and memory, narrow range of attention, irritability, nausea, drowsiness etc. It affects the brain cells irrevocably and often leads to nerve damage. This, in turn leads to loss of sensation and mobility in limbs. Liver damage resulting in cirrhosis is the most dangerous health hazard caused by drug addiction. Women are more prone to liver related diseases than men. Alcohol taken by
pregnant women may cause health problem to babies.
Drug addicts can be highly aggressive and often get angry over trivial matters. One needs to be extremely vigilant as they can throw up frequent bouts of anger and aggression. Drug addicts also display impulsive behavior and they act and react without much thought. This behavior is usually displayed when they are feeling high. However, they may also exhibit impulsive behavior when they return to their normal state.
Drug addiction bars a person’s ability to reason and they are unable to make appropriate decisions. They lose their self-control and can no longer distinguish between what is right or wrong.
Drug addicts usually face monetary problems as they spend lot of money on drugs. People
become obsessed with spending all their fortunes on that one thing to satisfy their addiction. It drains the finances of addicts and they usually end up in debt or even worse. In order to meet money for purchasing drugs, drug addicts often resort to Drug addiction affects the relationships of addicts. They end up doing things or making decisions that don’t work in their favour. This constraint the relationships of people and they drift apart.
Work culture or studies of drug addicts also get affected. The concentration levels of drug
addicts in other things will drop as they spend all their time and money on addiction.
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” (M Gandhi) Drug addiction being a serious issue needs timely and due attention to prevent its further spread. The Government of India especially the J&K Government has taken this issue seriously and has floated a number of important orders from top to bottom asking the Govt agencies to gear up both the preventive and protective measures. It is better to beat your addiction rather than getting beat by it. There are many ways to do so. Firstly recognize and identify that you have an addiction problem which is the first step to getting cured.
An addict needs to understand the symptoms and motivate himself to do better.
An addict should keep it in mind that the journey will be long but worthwhile and he should believe that a day is going to come when he will re-enjoy the prior drug addiction life which was full of beauty. Identify the triggers in your life and try to stay away from them as far as possible.
It is important that an addict should not feel shameful in asking for professional help as these professionals help him get better. They shall get Enrolled in rehabilitation programs and try to make the most out of them.
One more important thing is that they should not be hesitant in talking to his loved ones and
relatives and they being affectionate will always render a valuable advice for them and will surely help them on the right path and help them in beating addiction for better health and life.Identified as a major cause for initial and experimental drug use. Unless a person wishes to get rid of this evil, it is very difficult to give it up, hence awareness
campaigns, programs, seminars can serve the purpose. In order to eradicate and uproot this
serious social evil, the NGOs, media, Self-help groups and other governmental and nongovernmental agencies should play their influential role. We should devise curriculum for our children in such a way that the moral education especially the drug addiction should be given due focus and much emphasis should be laid on its effects on health and society. Moral lessons, stories, hobbies need to be inculcated in children, to spend time happily and meaningfully in good company. Addressing drug trafficking over the dark net needs to be given priority by the law enforcement agencies. We should update scientific standards to keep vigil on
the internet. They need to be taught to develop a useful and constructive work-oriented daily
routine in which they do manage some time for social activities. Parental care is must and they need to spend a good part of their time with their children and make them enjoy every moment of their Life.
Religious scriptures prohibit the use of drugs and it becomes the moral duty of the religious
preachers to spread this message among their followers.
Our beloved prophet Muhammad SAW has also forbidden alcohol. He says:
“Alcohol is the mother of all evils and it is shameful of all evils”
The release of calendar of activities by the Government, directing all the Govt departments to undertake anti-drug addiction programs, rallies, dramas etc. for discouraging the use of drugs, is a novel and innovative initiative showing much enthusiasm and intension of the Government to contain this drug menace but this needs to be made consistent, and continuous efforts need to be
taken till this challenging menace is uprooted.