The future generation is virtually being crippled by the abuse of drags. A drag abuser is completely self-centred and cares least about others. His consciousness is clouded, and he loses his will-power, concentration, memory and judgement capacity. When in need of money, he does not hesitate to steal or indulge in other anti-social activities. “More drags, more crime” shows the graph. A new addict develops friendship with fellow addicts, and gradually enters the so called ‘drag subculture’. He is then regarded as an outcaste in society, and there is little chance that he will again lead a healthy life.
To start with, the addict takes a pill to alleviate pain or get a ‘thrill’ at the persuasion of his friends. Quickly he develops a mental dependence on the ‘thrill’. Gradually he becomes physically dependent too, requiring an increasing dose daily, in the absence of which he shows “withdrawal symptoms”. Ultimately, the addiction becomes a habit, when the sheer thought of taking drugs thrills him. Enquiries have attributed the addiction of a subject to his health, mentality, environmental factors and even genetic factors. Recent findings show that 88% of the heroin addicts in India are in the age-group of 14 to 25 years, the crucial age of adolescence.
In fact, the drag habit has become a fashion among young people in the country’s principal urban centres. In order to be ‘modern’ and ‘march with the times’, students having generous pocket money take to drug habit. In want of money, these addicts gradually take to drug pushing, and the network widens. Some others get addicted to overcome frustration and mental agony. Children of quarrelling parents are found to be prone to addiction. Studies conducted in the United States, United Kingdom and Japan have shown that the fathers of addicts are generally indifferent or mentally weak.
Besides, the lack of healthy education, uninspiring lectures by teachers and unhealthy books and films degrade the moral values of the youth and may lead to addiction. Minor tranquilisers prescribed by doctors may also lead to addiction if taken regularly for a considerable length of time. The total permissiveness in Indian society, on Western lines, is also responsible for the fast-spreading drug menace.
Gone are the days when the eastern and the poor developing countries were free from dragging abuse. Record seizures of various intoxicants in the recent police raids have turned the spotlight on drag abuse in India also. But the seizures are only the tip of the iceberg. In fact, drag traffic is now considered as second only to armaments, and even more lucrative than the oil business.
The Asian drug circuit and American mafias work in co-ordination, as the ‘Golden Crescent1 (the junction of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan) and ‘Golden Triangle’ (the junction of Thailand, Burma and Laos) serve as prime sources of narcotics. The role of India as major transit route for international drag traffic has also caused much concern around the world.
The overwhelming magnitude of the looming calamity requires the voluntary indulgence of the youth to appraise the masses of the ill-effects of drugs and the symptoms of an addict.
The medical treatment for detoxification is not sufficient, unless supplemented by Group Therapy. Under this treatment, the medically treated addict must be brought in regular connection with an Anti Drag Community, where former addicts shall instill confidence in them. “Aversion Treatment” by Behavioural Psychotherapy may also come to help.
The addicts may also be helped to change their negative outlook by Logotherapy. At the same time, the cultural growth of seeking professional help for drag addiction is itself a healthy sign. It means that we recognise the problem and want to set it right. That’s half the battle won. Addiction should be considered as an illness and not a sign of moral weakness or lack of willpower. Nor is it a crime. It is an illness that can be treated by professionals with full understanding of drug abuse.
The patient should be motivated to seek treatment. The treatment includes detoxification and after-care. When the body is dependent on drags for its normal functions, detoxification is needed. Toxins are poison-like drags in the
Body which must be got rid of under medical care, so that a person is able to achieve a drug-free condition. However, it is the patient’s will power and support and understanding from near and dear ones that will help him remain drug-free and overcome his craving for drugs. It must be remembered that the addict is fighting a constant drug temptation.
In order to tame and trample the monster of drug abuse, we must go back to the root of the problem and make the user of drugs more human, tolerant, understanding, appreciative, sympathetic and helpful. This is a “social responsibility” underscoring the dictum, “No man is an island.” Social workers, teachers, and above all parents, especially mothers can play a vital role in this direction. Many counselling and de-addiction centres have contributed greatly to create a national awakening. More such efforts are required from all walks of society.