This is a path that leads to destruction, writes Hadiya Shah.
The invention of drugs is a blessing of science. Drugs have increased our life span. By eradicating dreadful diseases like cholera, polio, hepatitis etc., drugs have not only made our lives long but also made our living more secure and comfortable.
Misuse and overuse of everything has always been condemned and regarded as harmful. In the same way misuse and overuse of drugs is definitely harmful. The most misused drugs are narcotics (opium derivatives). These drugs provide a sense of well being, euphoria and analgesia to the person.
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 was passed in order to suppress the contraband traffic, and abuse of dangerous drugs especially those derived from opium, Indian hemp and coca leaf. The drugs derived from opium, hemp and coca are excellent drugs but they are habit forming and exert degenerative effects on the person's health. It is very unfortunate that every year we turn up with an ever increasing population of drug-addicts in our country. Drugs like brown sugar, heroin and smack are popular among youth. These drugs do nothing but harm to our health. Youth, particularly students very easily fall prey to these habit forming drugs. Most addicts start taking drugs because of peer pressure or curiosity, or to bring themselves at par with their friends who are unfortunately drug addicts. Some start just because of the curiosity for drugs. As a result large number of students are becoming drug addicts throughout the world. Drug addiction not only degrades the physical health of an individual but also degrades and erodes his or her moral wellbeing.
Then what actually turns a person into an addict? When a person consumes the habit forming drug for the first time, it gives him relief from the ailment or pain he is suffering with. These drugs are habit forming because they exert their effect in the brain. The brain needs them again and again. With the passage of time the receptors on which they act become saturated and are not able to show the desired effect with the dose that the person was already using. Therefore brain demands more and more quantity (higher dose) of that drug. The addict becomes physically as well as psychologically dependent on the habit forming drug. Procuring the drug and using it takes precedence over all his or her activities.
If, however, efforts are made by the addict's family to relieve him of the addiction he is suffering from, he develops some symptoms that are difficult to tolerate for him. These symptoms are known as withdrawal symptoms. The addict shows symptoms like restlessness, anxiety, sweating, yawning etc., and these symptoms compel him or her to obtain and use the drug at any cost. Therefore, it is better not to use these narcotic drugs at anytime in your life (that too without medical advice) because these drugs cause nothing except degradation and destruction.
From time to time steps have been taken at the national and international level to curb this menace and threat to the physical and moral health of human race, especially youth. Regulating (in the form of laws), the cultivation, use and trade of narcotic drugs, dates back to1857 (Opium Act). In 1930, the Dangerous Drugs act was passed and nowadays the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and Rules 1985 is applicable to whole of India. This act provides exemplary punishment which includes imprisonment up to 30 years in addition to a fine of more that 3 lakh rupees.
Despite all these laws and voluntary efforts of various Non Governmental Organizations (NGO's), illicit trafficking, use and cultivation of these drugs continues unabated. The need of the hour is to save our society in general and the youth in particular from this menace of drug addiction. It has been very truly said that the lost time can never return back. The time those unfortunate drug addicts have lost can never be given back to them. Let every addict pledge not to ruin his life and utilize the golden time of his youth in building his career.
(The author is an Ex-student of the Department Of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Kashmir. Mail at email@example.com)