“It is easier to stay off drugs than get to off drugs”
The pattern of drug abuse in India has changed over the years. The use of drugs like Charas, Ganja, and Opium was a tradition in some places of India, where people were mainly used for ritualistic purposes. However, the consumption of hard drugs like heroin and LSD is a relatively new phenomenon. Injection drug use has also been affecting people, which cut across socioeconomic strata. Drug addiction causes immense human distress and the illegal production and distribution of drugs have spawned crime and violence worldwide.
Dynamic of Drug abuse in India
Today, no part of the world is free from the curse of drug trafficking and drug addiction. Millions of drug addicts all over the world are leading to miserable lives. The majority of the drug abusers were attaining the age of 15 years, which is considered the most viable age for experimenting and adventure-seeking primarily under the influence of peers, friends or media, etc. Ganja, the most widely used drug in India, has been the first ever-abused drug for most of the drug abusers. However, the interface between the abuse of soft substances and hardcore drugs confirms the hypothesis that drug dependency is not an abrupt process.
Addiction vs. Abuse
Drug abuse is when you use legal or illegal substances or when people take it more than the regular dose of pills or without a doctor’s prescription. Drug abuse is used to feel good, reduce stress, and to avoid reality, but usually, it makes people unhealthy and unstable.
Addiction is when you can’t stop, even when your life is in danger, or when it causes financial, emotional, and other problems for you or your loved ones.
The scale of Drug Abuse
India is on the highest scale of drug abuse, and the numbers are also increasing day by day. It is estimated that about 9 lakhs Indians inject drugs in which 5 lakhs are children and 1.8million adults need help for inhalant dependence and 7.7 million Indians require help for opioid dependence, and the usage of opioid in India is three times the global average, as per the 2019 All India Institute of Medical Sciences study.
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Cannabis products include charas, bhang, or ganja, are abused throughout the country because it has attained some amount of religious sanctity. The International Narcotics Control Board in its 2002 report released in Vienna stated that ”in India persons addicted to opiates are shifting their drug of choice from opium to heroin”. Pharmaceutical products containing narcotic drugs are also drug abused. The intravenous injections of analgesics are also reported from many states, as it is easily available at 1/10th the cost of heroin.
Why Some Become Addicted?
There are some reasons for becoming someone drug-addicted:
Depression: Many people who suffer from depression do not get proper treatment or diagnosis for this problem; they used to do self-medication for handling the symptoms of depression with Alcohol, Marijuana, Cocaine, and various other substances.
Peer Pressure: This is the most important or common reason among young adults and teenagers that they start to use drugs because they want to fit in. In many cases, young adults and teenagers don’t understand the severity of drug use and addiction, that it is very harmful to their life.
To feel good: people start abusing drug or alcohol because they want to feel better than they do, whether is stress, anxiety, or enhancing their fun. So, using drugs and alcohol to feel better is a gateway to severe drug addiction.
Experimentation with substance use at a young age: Mind-altering substances like Cocaine and Alcohol, promise to heighten the experience and that experience is worth exploring. Unfortunately, some drugs are so addictive that the person will begin a pattern of abuse, which can eventually lead to an addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), people are more likely to have a substance use disorder, if they started consuming drugs before age 18. Besides, they are likely to have the disorder by the time they reach age 20.
Family History of Addiction: Genetics is not only the way where family and background can contribute to the development of addiction. As described in Psychology, this is not just because of the genetic connection, but seeing family members struggling with the cycles of addiction and attempts to quit by using drugs can subconsciously or consciously affect a person’s decision to start using drugs.
Causes of Drug Abuse
- The damaged immune system, which increases susceptibility to infection
- Heart attacks and Collapsed veins
- Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain
- Liver overexertion or liver failure
- Seizures and strokes
- Permanent brain damage
Impact of drug abuse on Society and Women in India
- Many drug addicts are resorting to petty theft or robberies to continue paying for drugs.
- It directly impacts on family, friends, and coworkers of the addict in the form of stress, exposure to substance abuse, violence, and neglect.
- The economic consequences of drug abuse severely burden state, and local government resources and the taxpayer.
- With most drug users under the age of 18 to 35 years, the loss in terms of human potential and which is incalculable.
- The consequences of drug addiction cause domestic violence and infection with HIV, as well as the financial burden.
- Most domestic violence is directed against women in the context of the demands of money to buy drugs.
Drug abuse solutions
The following are important elements which help kids from resisting it and preventing them from drugs and alcohol:
- Show love and affectionate when the child starts growing.
- Consistent and fair discipline.
- Open channels of communication.
- Opportunities for successful experiences at home and in school.
- A stable family atmosphere
- Tolerance of the child’s mistakes
- Accurate information about the problems of growing up today
Legal Bodies and Laws of Government that enforces Drugs regulations
The legal bodies governing drug abuse in society are:
- Narcotics Control Division
- Central Bureau of Narcotics (CBN)
- The Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB )
- Other Agencies- Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Bureau of Investigation, Customs Commission, Border Security Force
In India, the drug abuse was not properly governed, but after 1985, the legislature passed Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, (NDPS Act) in 1985. The act was enacted to win the battle against Drug trafficking, for this act criminalized the cultivation, trade, import, export, and any kind of local consumption of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. The Act was amended thrice in the year of 1989, 2001, and 2014, and made the punishment much stiffer than before. According to this Act, any kind of offense relating to the drug is taken as a serious issue and is considered cognizable with the non-bailable offense.
Michael Raj v. Intelligence Officer, Narcotic Control BureauApex Court stated that in the mixture of a narcotic drug or a psychotropic substance with or a more neutral substance, the quantity of the neutral substance is not to be taken into consideration while determining the small quantity or commercial quantity of a narcotic drug or psychotropic substance. It is only the actual content by weight of the narcotic drug which is relevant for determining whether it would be used for small quantity or commercial quantity.
- A national action plan on substance abuse is required by the state.
- There is a need for communication between parents and child
- There should be coordination between the multiple bodies which are established to fight with drug abuse.
- by making awareness among people about drug abuse.
- There is a need for proper control over the manufacture, distribution, and import and export of chemicals that are or can be used illicitly.
- There is a need for counseling and rehabilitation to children affected by drug abuse.
India today is suffering from so many health issues which include mental and physical health, this is due to the youth wearing the blanket of drugs. There are so many steps taken by the government and the active people of the country to promote and positively aid the consequences of the drug abuse such as, in Cinema halls before the movie starts a small social video is played, also in YouTube, even many channels are working towards resolution of this serious issue by making social experimental videos so to spread the awareness in the society.
“Drug is a poison; it provides short term enjoyment with long term pain. So be aware, be safe
Written By- Tanya Singh, Banasthali University.