This escapism in turn compels the user to go back to the drug to avoid the trouble and it eventually leads to addiction. While it is necessary to face the problem and tackle it, the users more often than not are under the effects of drugs and neglect the situation. It, as a result, worsens giving way to further use of drugs to escape the problem which is already mounted. Thus, addiction and myths of stress relief associated with it makes a vicious cycle.
Sometimes, exposure to drugs in the family or the locality or the school makes one a drug addicts. Usually, children of a drunkard also become a drug addict. The early exposure to drugs immensely contributes to make them drug addicts. Their innocent immature mind is unable to get its negative impact on them. When they are mature, they can understand everything, but are already caught in its vicious trap. The company also plays a prominent role in making one drug addict. ‘Doing drugs’ as a cultural fad amongst the youth provokes them to experiment and lures them for addiction.
Peer pressure further accentuates the problem. In other words, personality make-up is another factor for drug addiction. Gene structure of a particular person makes him vulnerable for certain kind of addiction. The easy availability of different drugs in the market due to illicit trafficking makes it easier to procure it. This again aggravates the problem.
The phenomenon of drug addiction has its roots in an individual’s psychological, physical and social bases. Drugs are addictive as they are taken either to escape from the existing situation or for pleasure-seeking. In a way, drugs become the sole source of gratification for the person who has chosen them as a support system. The person reaches such a physiological state which necessitates the continued use of drug to prevent withdrawals.
There are varieties of drugs available today, which include narcotics, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens and cannabis, in other words, opium, morphine, heroin, marijuana, bhang, hashish, LSD, mescaline, khat, codeine are different forms of drugs. Alcohol, marijuana, and heroine are the most commonly abused substances. Some drugs like bhang, hashish, tabocco and liquor are cheaper which a man of low-income group can afford while drugs like heroine, LSD, morphine, etc. are highly costly. Only affluent section of society can have accessibility to them.
Every drug, including alcohol and tobacco, which is socially acceptable, is harmful for the body as a whole. But the drugs which have a high physical dependence are more dangerous for the health in comparison to others. As the concentration of alcohol increases in the blood, vision, hearing, smell, taste and muscle coordinations are affected, resulting in staggering in one’s gait.
The mental confusion enhances with even a small quantity of drug intake which is manifested in behavioural changes. Drug dependence hampers memory perception, problem- solving skill and concentration. Besides, a number of symptoms such as increased pulse rate, blood pressure, loss of appetite, insomnia, micro-vascular damage, severe weight loss, psychosis, violent behaviour, poor comprehension and memory, narrow range of attention, irritability, nausea, drowsiness, respiratory depression, impaired health, poor perception of time and distance, decreased interest in achievement-oriented action are associated with it. Long-term alcohol abuse has varied affects on human body.
It affects the brain cells irrevocably and often leads to nerve damage. This, in turn, leads to loss of sensation and mobility in limbs. Liver damage resulting in cirrhosis is the most dangerous health hazard caused by drug addiction. Significantly, women are more prone to liver related disease than men. Besides, alcohol taken by pregnant women may cause health problem to babies.
The most common effects of alcohol are misjudgment and disinhibition. It releases the mental balance and puts the inner conscience to sleep so that the individual loses the control over his thought and action. This carefree feeling makes the drinker prone to violence, accidents and crimes. It is very difficult to designate the vulnerability to addiction. Anybody can be addicted to drug anytime in any phase of his life. Peer presence has commonly been
identified as a major cause for initial and experimental drug use. The use of psychoactive drugs is widely acknowledged as a facet of people’s lifestyles. It has been generally seen that youth is the most vulnerable lot of drug dependence. When a person during his early adulthood and adolescence is in the look for his self identity, he begins to take drugs under peer pressure. Moreover, it is youth’s curiosity, adventurousness and risk taking mental disposition which attracts him to do something different and experiment with everything new in life.
Family problem has also been attributed to some extent to this problem, particularly in case of tragedy or separation from one or both parents. Often the strained or torn family relation leads one to drug addiction. A person confronting the situation is caught in a feeling of footlessness. He feels free from any kind of accountability. Thus, the fear of the individual against socially unacceptable behaviour decreases in him and he becomes very much vulnerable to drug sometimes, people due to failure and frustration resort to drugs as a means to find solace.
When their capabilities and efficiencies are not well-rewarded and not well-recognised, they opt out and seek alternative gratifications in drugs. When the ordinary social fabric is disrupted by several socio-economic factors such as poverty, unemployment, migration, etc. the problems of drug addiction get chance to flourish. Undoubtedly, drug addiction is a great socio-economic and health problem. It is kind of disease which is curable with the help of proper treatment. But for the total recovery of the addict, psychological treatment side by side medical treatment through individual counseling, group therapy, re-education and yoga is of immense help. The planning of treatment must focus on self- exposure and self-help.
Unless a person wishes to get rid of this evil, it is very difficult to give it up. Hence, an awareness campaign can serve the purpose. The media, the NGOs, self- help groups and other governmental and non-governmental agencies can play influential role. Besides, our educational curriculum should be so designed that value-based moral education is made a part of it. Since in very early age, more values need to be inculcated in children, they should be taught to develop good hobbies to spend time happily and meaningfully in good company. They need to be taught to develop a useful and constructive work-oriented daily routine in which they do manage some time for social activities. They should be made aware of the vices of addiction.