The Bold Voice of J&K

Why youth inclining towards drug menace?


Mool Raj

Why youth are inclining towards drugs is a question that needs immediate attention. Drug addiction has been the major cause of physical and mental harm to the health of people. It is a problem, sadly, growing terribly, causing severe trauma to our youth and consequently restricting them from accomplishing goals and dreams in life. People sometimes feel that they are too bright, too powerful, too much in control to become addictive. But the truth is that, ‘addiction can trap anyone, young or old, beautiful, or smart, some way or the other it enslaves you’.
Globally, over 200 million people consume one or other form of illicit drugs. From natural Bhang, cannabis, opium to synthetic ‘designer’ drugs like ecstasy or MDMA, barbiturate derivatives, benzodiazepines like alprazolam, diazepam, amphetamines, Phenethylamine and Tryptamine derivatives; different forms of drugs that are available for inducing excitation, or euphoria, Drug addiction (a nuisance) can harm your body, cause problems in family structure and contribute to the delinquency in society. It can even lead to crime as a result of reduced impulse control and negligence, consequently affecting the human welfare, law and order and economic production of a state. No country is free from it, not even supergiant America. It is like a curse for a developing country like India. As India is already facing several problems like poverty, unemployment, child labour, female infanticide and overpopulation, harming its overall health as a state, Drug addiction is widespread and increasing at an alarming rate here in Kashmir. There is no shortage of supply and people enslaved arrange it very easily. Despite the fact that some drug peddlers are arrested by police, many youths are still involved in it and the numbers continue to swell. Yes, it initially starts with a cigarette puff, but the lust for it grows on. Why youth consume drugs, a question that seeks immediate attention? Yes, mix-up with a bad company can be a reason for it. In tender age a person tries to get adjusted in the society and for that purpose he thinks of making friends, good friends. It is a human desire and a great need, because a human is social and interdependent. Good company is okay, but bad company is a slow-sweet poison. It provides easy access to such illicit drugs, resulting in a lifetime addiction. There are many disturbed personalities suffering from this disease and their drug addiction has completely enslaved them. Some causes may include taking drugs to cope up with stress, financial crises, interpersonal conflicts, poverty, family burden etc. But this is all nonsense. You can’t give up that way. If you are looking for solutions to these problems or many others, you will surely get it. But taking drugs is no solution. Don’t you see the people living around you, who hate drugs and always advice, you to quit. They too face such pressures that are what life is all about – struggle. What they do, they (wise) handle it beautifully and you (fool) fail miserably to handle it. Wake-up! Addict, yes an addict, if really wants can surely get rid of drugs. The medicine is not the last hope, there are a good number of people to help you, including many volunteers, self-help groups, NGOs and many other social institutions, which counsel and look after such people. There have been some efforts from the state government as well. As I told, there can be many reasons for why people consume drugs. Some people have strong interest, but at times, some take drugs just for fun, or as a result of peer pressure. Although, you can start taking drugs at anytime, you cannot stop on your own will. You would do it when undergoing rehabilitation, but it takes time. I am personally agitated to see blooming buds involved in such practices, who by taking these drugs damage their health. Yes, it initially feels good, but its excessive and continuous use is all dangerous. Today is the age of modern science and technology but unfortunately, our society is still in dangers because of social evils like drug addiction. Use of alcohol, narcotics like opium, Charas and other sedatives surpass all dimensions. A society can survive on certain principles of morality and orderly behaviour and it is our responsibility to maintain it. Self-help is immediate. We need to promote life skills and healthy lifestyles, educate the parents on how to watch their child’s behaviour and keep a track of their child peer group. Government need to be more aggressive and authoritative. But don’t be absolutely dependent on government, please! There are laws to punish guilty, but we need to work on individual as well as group level to tackle this menace. Social integration is, fortunately, one of the most important protective factors against drug use. In the same breath, ‘no medicine without prescription’ needs to be strictly followed by the RMPs (Retailed Medical Practitioners). A man being ignorant or poor is no excuse, those literate and rich not innocent either. Before such a catastrophe overtakes youth, we must act today, or otherwise it will be too late to handle.
(The author is a Lecturer at Govt Higher Secondary School, Khellani, Doda).

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