A drug, as its dictionary meaning implies, is an original simple medical substance, whether organic or inorganic. It is administered to a patient to relieve pain or to help him in the process of medical treatment. How can, then, drugs become a menace to the health and well-being of an individual or society on the whole? Unfortunately, this is what has exactly happened in the 21st century. Many people all over the world now resort to the use of narcotic drugs not to get better health but to receive the “kick” or momentary pleasure to forget the tensions and anxieties that burden life in the modern world. The result is that the habitual use of drugs such as opium, marijuana, brown sugar, hashish, and some chemical preparations is threatening the health of crores of people and running their careers and happiness.
Psychologists and sociologists all over the world have carried out research and surveys to explore the causes leading a large number of people to drug addiction. According to them, there are several factors that cumulatively lead to the existence and even perpetual use of drugs in the modern world. As the drugs provide or seem to provide, a momentary “kick” or pleasure, many people are allured to the deadly drugs out of their desire to escape the harsh realities of life. The breaking-up of homes and the joint family system, the lack of social and community life, the resultant feeling of loneliness, alienation, and meaninglessness, and the frustration among the youth are the principal villains. With a view to making more and more money, people neglect their homes, especially children. Such children fall easy prey to drug addiction. The youth, burdened with studies, unemployment, and irrelevance or decay of the value system seek comfort by resorting to the use of drugs.
Then, there is the avarice of the drug traffickers who make this slow poison available on every street, school, and college. Illicit trafficking in drugs means a lot of money. The people engaged in this illicit trade first create their market by luring young people and then making them dependent on drugs forever. In some countries, even big businessmen and politicians are involved in this immortal and illicit trade, because it can make them rich overnight. A kilogram of heroin, for example, sells for a crore or more rupees in the developed West! No wonder, the lure of easy money converts many people into drug smugglers.
The harmful effects of drug addiction cannot be overemphasized. Drugs seem to provide a “kick” or momentary pleasure at first, but subsequently, they lead to the formation of habit. The victim becomes dependent on the poisonous drugs. He ruins his health, money, and his life. When an addict cannot get his daily dose of the dope, he feels aches in the body, listlessness of nerves, nausea, and convulsions. This process goes on for some time until he becomes a physical wreck. As every country depends on the strength and well-being of its young people, drug addiction plays havoc with the future of a country.
Society, on the whole, has to pay a heavy price for the addiction of its members. Not only does it lose much money and the health of the members but it also loses its youth and vigor. Some young men are trapped by foreign spies through the lure of the easy availability of drugs. Dependent on drugs as some of the people are, they will even sell their country to foreign agents for the sake of their regular supply.
There is, therefore, an urgent need to put an end to the widespread menace of drug addiction. Undoubtedly, there exist laws against drug trafficking in every country. But either these laws are somewhat lenient or consist of some loopholes, with the result that drug traffickers manage to have their way because of the money at their disposal. The need of the hour is to make these laws really stringent and enforce them vigorously.
Simultaneously, every sincere effort should be made to reclaim the people who have, for one reason or another, fallen prey to drug addiction. Instead of treating them as outcasts or morally inferior people, we should think of them as our own kith and kin who must be brought back to normal life. They should be given proper medical treatment and rehabilitated socially and emotionally. In other words, we must do our best to remove the causes which lure young people to life-destroying drugs. Only then can this menace be minimized, if not totally eliminated.
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