Yes….that is right…dopamine is the neurotransmitter that is released by certain regions in the brain which gives a feeling of reward and satisfaction to animals and human beings. The collection of regions in the brain which attempts to regulate by inducing pleasurable effects are called the reward system.   So when dopamine levels go up in the brain, the subject experiences a sense of achievement or a HIGH. Hence it is rightly called the pleasure chemical. It has been observed that things such as food, music etc. cause the dopamine centers to secrete this substance….but so do smoking, alcohol and DRUGS.

The implications of prolonged usage of drugs are two-fold. One it induces tolerance to that drug, meaning the person needs a larger quantity to experience the same high. Two it person becomes very sensitive to the drug and needs to experience that pleasure always. This sensitivity is termed as drug addiction.

So now that we have understood what DRUG ADDICTION does to our bodies, let us see what havoc drugs cause in the society. The person who is addicted to drugs can do anything to have a dose of his fix. This results in the rise of violent crimes like theft in the society. Also countries like India, which have a youth bulge, are especially vulnerable. Majority of the youth are lured into this quagmire because of the thrill of experiencing something new and peer pressure. This also results in the loss of huge amount potential workforce which could contribute substantially the nation’s GDP. All these factors scare away investment and hence this turns into a vicious circle, crippling the nation’s economy and making it completely dependent on drugs.

Let us analyze this problem in terms of demand and supply. Drugs have a highly inelastic demand as persons who are addicted to drugs will crave for their dose irrespective of how high the price is and it is this craving that induces them to commit violent crimes. There are two alternatives towards combating the drug menace. One is to suppress or lower drug supply curve through enforcement of stringent laws. The other is to shift the demand curve to the left by creating awareness and decriminalizing the possession of drugs in limited quantity so that people come out and approach counsellors to combat their drug problem.

Despite this being an issue of great magnitude in India, our political establishment has not shown the will to take on this problem head on. Since there is a lot of money to be in drugs, the money which comes from this is not accounted for and stashed away as black money. Even if a consignment of drugs is seized, only the peddler is caught. They are at the bottom end of this well-oiled network. The top bosses remain scot free; evading the long arm of the law.

Finally as responsible citizens, the onus lies on us to break this vicious cycle. Ultimately these have a market because there is a demand for these products. If every one of us takes a pledge against drugs, then this market would collapse, our families would be better and our societies would prosper. So say no to drugs, say yes to life.

shravanmkumar– SCIT MBA(ITBM)2013-2015

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