Since the entire main stream media as well as social media has been talking about the “drug mafia” of bollywood everyone has started playing the blame game and names of many celebrities have emerged in this case. Although media is talking about the involvement of these celebs in these cases they are not talking about the problem of substance abuse itself which has assumed alarming dimensions in India specially among the youngsters.
Changing cultural values, increasing economic stress and dwindling supportive bonds are leading to initiation into substance use. According to the World Health Organization substance abuse is persistent or sporadic drug use inconsistent with or unrelated to
acceptable medical practice.
The picture is grim if the world statistics on the drugs scenario is taken into account. Millions of people all over the world consume one drug or the other. Drug addiction causes immense human distress and the illegal production and distribution of drugs have spawned crime and violence worldwide.
Today, there is no part of the world that is free from the curse of drug trafficking and drug addiction. Millions of drug addicts, all over the world, are leading miserable lives, between life and death. India too is caught in this vicious circle of drug abuse, and the numbers of drug addicts are increasing day by day.What started off as casual use among a minuscule population of high-income group youth in
the metro has permeated to all sections of society. Inhalation of heroin alone has given way to intravenous drug use, that too in combination with other sedatives
and painkillers. This has increased the intensity of the effect, hastened the process of addiction and complicated the process of recovery.
Cannabis, heroin, and Indian-produced pharmaceutical drugs are the most frequently abused drugs in India.
Cannabis products, often called charas, bhang, or ganja, are abused throughout the country because it has also attained some amount of religious sanctity.
The pharmaceutical products containing narcotic drugs
are increasingly being abused. The intravenous injections of analgesics like dextropropoxphene etc are also reported from many states, as it is easily available at 1/10th the cost of heroin.The codeine-based cough syrups continue to be diverted from the domestic market for abuse.
Drug abuse is a complex phenomenon, which has various social, cultural, biological, geographical, historical and economic aspects. The disintegration of the old joint family system, absence of parental love and care in modern families where both parents are working, decline of old religious and moral values etc lead to a rise in the number of drug addicts who take drugs to escape hard realities of life.
Drug use, misuse or abuse is also primarily due to the nature of the drug abused, the personality of the
individual and the addict’s immediate environment. The processes of industrialization, urbanization and migration have led to loosening of the traditional methods of social
control rendering an individual vulnerable to the stresses and strains of modern life. The introduction of synthetic drugs and intravenous drug use leading to HIV/AIDS has added a new dimension to the problem, especially in the Northeast states of the country.
Drug abuse has led to a detrimental impact on the society. It has led to increase in the crime rate. Addicts resort to crime to pay for their drugs. Drugs remove inhibition and impair judgment egging one on to commit offences. Incidences of teasing, group clashes, assault and impulsive murders increase with drug abuse.
Apart from affecting the financial stability, addiction increases
conflicts and causes untold emotional pain for every member of the family. With most drug users being in the productive age group of 18-35 years, the loss in terms of human potential is incalculable. The damage to the physical, psychological, moral and intellectual growth of the youth is very high.
Adolescent drug abuse is one of the major areas of concern in adolescent and young people’s behavior. It is estimated that, in India, by the time most boys reach
the ninth grade, about 50 percent of them have tried at
least one of the substance of abuse nature.
Increase in incidences of HIV, hepatitis B and C and
tuberculosis due to addiction adds the reservoir of
infection in the community burdening the health care
system further. Women in India face greater problems
from drug abuse. The consequences include domestic
violence and infection with HIV, as well as the financial
India has braced itself to face the menace of drug
trafficking both at the national and international levels.
Several measures involving innovative changes in
enforcement, legal and judicial systems have been
brought into effect.
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act,
1985, were enacted with stringent provisions to curb
this menace. The Act envisages a minimum term of 10
years imprisonment extendable to 20 years and fine of
Rs. 1 lakh extendable up to Rs. 2 lakhs for the offenders.
Comprehensive strategy involving specific programmes
to bring about an overall reduction in use of drugs has
been evolved by the various government agencies and
NGOs and is further supplemented by measures like
education, counseling, treatment and rehabilitation
programmes. Substance abuse can be addressed at
the individual level, at the local level (societ, national,
etc.) and at the cross-national level. At the individual
level, there has to be a synthesis of biological
understanding with the exploration of background
sociocultural factors. At the national and cross-national
level, there has to be a concerted effort of all the
countries in managing the issue of substance abuse,
taking into account the local socio-cultural and political
June 26 is celebrated as International Day against Drug
Abuse and Illicit Trafficking every year. It is an exercise
undertaken by the world community to sensitize the
people in general and the youth in particular, to the
menace of drugs.