The drug debate

Is it really that bad as it’s presented to be?
The drug debate
Representational pic

I don't say it's not, I say is it? Are we truly in the midstof an irrevocable social crisis or we are making the crisis deeper by blowingit a little more than normal. If former is the case, then we have all reasonsto cry out loud and if it's the second part of the story, still then it demandsseriousness. In either case, it's a source of worry. Answers may hover between`yes' and `no', but approaches have to be matured enough to deal with thesituation.

Drug addiction is not a new, but an old problem. Like allevils, the evil of intoxication ails any society anywhere. It surfaces againand again in the new forms, new manifestations and with new methods. Ourexperts have horrifying figures to present and their study (we accept) may bewell grounded. According to a recent report issued by NIMHAS (NationalInstitute of Mental Heath and Neuroscience), the drug de-addiction centre ofSMHS hospital Srinagar for the last two years has registered a 35% increase in substance abuse. Heroin, liquour,cannabis, opium – you name the drug we show you the addict. Men, women,children, young, old – all consume it. Reports give an impression that everythird person amongst us is a drug addict which perhaps may not be the case.

We don't deny figures, but figures have a problem. Figuresmisjudge feelings, moods, shades and nuances. Naked numbers terrify. We canprove a society a mass of perverts and we will have numbers. The list of thebest and the worst is inherently influenced by the premise of the research ourinstitutions take up. We can also disprove the same and we will have numbers.Conclusions drawn from statistics can be mathematically accurate, but sociallyand emotionally misplaced. Again, that never means a flat denial of the problemwhich is staring every parent, every teacher, every head of the family andevery conscious member of a society straight in the face. Our youth is in pain,our families do face frustrations, we have no good news from our social,economic and political fronts. But the crisis is more general than specific.Like corruption, addiction too is universal.

Now the second part. Sure there is a problem. Here again wefocus on the shoot, leaving the root unaddressed. Consumption of drugs is thelast stage which takes all our attention. First is the cultivation, theharvest, the smuggling, the trafficking, the sale, the transport and the wholechain of drug peddlers who seduce our youth into this hell. When ourlaw-enforcing agencies are swift in cracking the cases of political nature, whycan't the whole scandal be unearthed by busting the very source. You plug thesource, the supply will stop. The moment the supply stops the results will beobserved on the ground. Mere sermons won't do. Sure we have a responsibility towatch our children and keep them from falling into the trap, but thatresponsibility is moral and emotional. The responsibility of the system islegal. A legitimate use of force can – as goes the cliché – nip it in the bud.Scholars, priests, headmen, reformers and the whole civil society can play arole but that will be a role only. The system acts and that makes thedifference.

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