Drug Addiction: It's a curse

Our society is crippled by several social problems, such as corruption, dowry, organised crime, domestic violence, female infanticide, unemployment, begging, poverty etc. And all these problems contribute to a new problem and that is one of the fast growing problem – Drug Addiction. As the time passes the number of young addicts to drugs increases to alarming levels. Drugs like Brown Sugar, Alcohol, Ganja, Charas, Morphine, Cocaine, Hash Oil, Mescaline, LSD etc. are now frequently abused.

The  National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines addiction as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. In terms of global statistics it is the third largest business in the word next to petroleum and arms trade. According to the latest World Drug Report 2019, 35 million people worldwide suffer from drug use disorders. About 270 million people all over the world consume one drug or other.

Addiction generally refers to negative connotation. It is not just about the heroin, cocaine, or other illegal drugs. You can get addicted to alcohol, nicotine (found in tobacco product), painkillers and other legal substances. Addiction is when you can’t stop. Not when it puts your health in danger, not when it causes financial, emotional or any other problems for you or your family. It is a disease that affects your brain and behaviour. Loving your beloved beyond limit is also an addiction; Researchers find that intense feeling of romantic love affect the brain in the same way as the drugs like cocaine or some other pain relievers do.

At national level about 14.6% of the people is current user of alcohol i.e. Almost 16 crore people. About 2.8% of the Indian (3.6 crore individual) are using cannabis product. Bhang-2% or 2.2 crore people, Ganja /charas 1.2% or 1.3 crore people. There are about 8.5 lakh people who inject drugs.

According to the survey sponsored by United Nation Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) there are 70,000 drug addicts in Kashmir division alone including 4000 women. As per Government Psychiatric Disease Hospital (GPDH) statistics 90% abuses belong to the age group of 17 to 35 yr.

It is very harmful to society and is increasing at very fast rate. Kashmir is visited by lakhs of tourists every year. It has been estimated that about 2 lakh to 5 lakh migrant labours are in Kashmir and most of them are from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. UP is among the top five states of India that have largest population of people taking drugs.

Drug abuse has various social, cultural, geographical, biological, historical and economic aspects. The disintegration of joint family system, absence of parental love and care in modern families where both parents are busy with their own works, decline of old religious and moral values  etc., lead to rise in number of drug addicts. Absence of parental care is one of the basic reasons which leads to weakening the emotional bond between parents and there young ones. Stressful home environment and broken families are often the contributory factors; if the child’s basic needs like security, response, recognition and development are not adequately met at home, he develops feelings of frustration, inadequacy and emotional insecurity. He seeks to derive satisfaction from any other source and can come in contact with unscrupulous persons. This peer group of a dissatisfied adolescent provide a way to engage in drug addiction.

Beside government, NGOs, senior citizens, religious group, youth and teachers should come forward and launch a campaign for removal of this social evil. Every citizen should need to co-operate to the govt. and other voluntary agencies who are working for the removal of this evil. Some of the prevention strategies are; there should be strong family relationship: brothers, sisters and parents, in schools teachers should focus on children’s moral and ethical values and drug refusal skill, there should be awareness programme in schools and colleges, increasing taxes on tobacco and alcohol products to reduce use particularly among young people, religious and moral education to the children at early age so that they know the difference between good and bad.

“if you can quit for a day, you can quit for a lifetime”. Those people who have fallen victim to such harmful evil need to quit as soon as possible.