26 June, a date which is announced as International Day against Drug Abuse. Since 1987, this day has been gathering people around the globe to fight against drug abuse but how many of us really know what Drug Abuse actually means? How many of us have really undergone the trauma which a family faces when its members are under influence of drugs? What happens to a child when his/her father forgets child’s upbringing only to run behind drugs? What happens to a wife when her husband sells her precious goods for a mere dose to get “HIGH”?and not to forget a poor mother and father who helplessly watched their child walking into depths of hell in front of their eyes.
Here comes a short story. There was a person, aged 26, master of handicrafts. He had the ability to move mountains if he wanted to. He had talent of mending thick iron sheets, was a cook, and a very loving member of his family. He used to love his sisters more than his life. And then he encountered the world of drugs, the dark, gloomy and self-destructive world of drugs. He left his work. Started committing crimes like stealing, quarrelling with everyone close to him. Even went to jail couple of times. And as a typical Indian family, they thought that after marriage he’ll change but they didn’t knew what wrong they were going to do with the girl. After marriage, drugs ruined their lives and girl had to survive with all her dreams shattered. They had 2 children and no care was being given to them as their father was deeply into the drugs. He suffered regular neurotic attacks. Family had to spend a lot of money over him and no savings was left for the future of his wife, children and ageing parents. And a day came when the man breathed his last and left whole family on their own. A talented man who would have been a supporting pillar to his father; a moral support to his mother; a lover and loyal husband to his wife and a responsible father to his kids, died under influence of drugs and shattered 5 lives which were dependent on him. This is not just a story but a real life incident which I saw in a family.
Since the day when the man died, everyone around him scolded him for being a drug addict but no one thought for once why he was allowed to join a company who can ruin his life? No one tried to take him to a rehabilitation center. No one even consulted a medical officer. But chose to put responsibilities on a unpredictable man who can’t even handle his own responsibilities.
So what is your take over drug-abuse? Does it happens by choice or is it impossible to get out of this dark world once you have entered it. Drug addiction also has some factors which can lead a person to be addicted to drugs. These include:
• Family history of addiction
• Traumatic experience in childhood
• Mental anxiety
• Method of taking drug can also increase the level of addictive potential
But there are cures also available for drug-abuse. Our society has certain myths regarding drug-addiction. Some of these myths and their realities are as follows:
• Drug-addiction can be overcome by will-power. People forget that regular intake of drugs changes functioning of or brain and these changes can’t be undone by just will-power.
• Addiction can’t be cured. People think that once a process is started can’t be taken to a halt. If regular medication and support is given to a patient, drugs can become part of his history.
• Addiction can be removed after reaching saturation. This is completely wrong speculation people have made. Any treatment can be started at any stage of the addiction. One should not wait until the condition becomes worse than ever.
• If a treatment doesn’t work before then it will never work. If someone really want to leave addiction, then there is no harm I trying again and again.
• Treatment can’t be forced on someone; he needs the willingness to get cured.
People around a drug- addict can easily identify that the person is on drugs or not by identifying these symptoms:
• Having blood shots in eyes.
• Declining performance at work
• Missing money
• Missing valuable things
• Acting depressed and isolated
• Dropping group of friends
• Loss of interest in hobbies
• Demand of more and more privacy.
A drug-abused person can be helped by family support and constant check over the person. External help can be taken by visiting Narcotics Anonymous meeting in local areas. Call the helpline to get immediate consultancy. Also keep the patient motivated so that the treatment should continue till the person is out of the influence of drugs. Also people from faith community have a high success rate in removing drug addictions from people.
With this I would like to request everyone, please do not support any addicted person due to your personal relations and love towards him, but motivate him to get assistance to get rid of the curse he has put on himself and his family. It hurts when a happy family is shattered in front of your eyes and nobody is able to stop what happens.
Prateek Patni SCIT MBA (ITBM)13-15