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Drugs are not cool, they ruin individuals, families, societies and nation
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Drugs are not cool, they ruin individuals, families, societies and nation

Post by on Sunday, June 26, 2022

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The word “addiction” brings to mind different perception for different people. Some people associate word addiction with social media, phones, movies, gaming, gambling, psychotropic substances etc.People also have their own perception of what someone with addiction related problem looks like which can also lead to stigma against the patients with substance use.But we need to understand that drug abuse / addiction is one of the very common mental health issues and shall be seen as a disorder.
Drug abuse/ addiction is a serious problem and over 190 million drug users around the world and the problem has been increasing at alarming rates, especially among young adults under the age of 30. Drugs aresubstances that makes oneaddicted to them and change one’s lifestyle and the change that comes within your lifestyle is mostly negative. Drug addiction not only affects person socially, economically, psychologically but also leads to the long term damage to the body. Drug abuse can be big risk factor for acquiring dreadful infections like  HIV and hepatitis B and C infections and systemic illnesses affecting liver, heart etc. It also leads to abscess in most of the injection drug users. 
To make the general public aware about the increasing number of patients with drug addiction and disastrous effects of these drugs of Addiction, every year 26th June is observed as “International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking”. 
Factors contributing in increasing drug addiction:
Easy availability, peer group pressure, curiosity etc.
Lackof awareness about the harmful effects of drugs is another reason. Having no clear idea of drug abuse, sometimes people started using its any form with an idea of enjoyment but gradually they became habitual of it.
The role of certain platforms in portraying the high society using drugs/drinks as status symbol fascinates young generation is playing a negative role. 
The changing trends in family life are another significant factor due to which especially the new generation is becoming the victim of drug abuse. Previously, grandparents and parents were more aware with the activities of their children as they used to hold a strong control over their children’s routine. 
Social problems such as poverty, unemployment and illiteracy.
Lack of treatment for substance users.
The effects of drug addiction are multi layered, complex and integrated in a way that one links to the other. One person’saddiction leads to devastation of family and can pose a big threat to its spread to close acquaintances like class mates, relatives, neighbors, colleagues etc.  
The understanding of these risk factors of drug addiction can be quite helpful in controlling this issue. At the outset, steps should be taken to counter the spread of this menace by primary preventive measures, secondary prevention and tertiary prevention. This can be done through Initiating general awareness campaign about the consequences of drug addiction, which can play a vital role in suppressing its demand. Mass awareness should be done involving all forms of media such as electronic, print and social media with a purpose of disseminating information. Another way of decreasing the demand can be by engaging youth in recreational and sports activities. Also providing job opportunities, skill based trainings and framing recreational activities for general public at large may help youth to stay away from drugs of addiction. However for this herculean task to be successful there is a need of collaboration of various departments like Health, Education, Law enforcement agencies, Social Welfare, youth services and sports, Revenue and excise,  Religious heads, NGO’s etc.
The treatment and rehabilitation centers for drug abusing individuals should be fully equipped setup and trained medical staff having expertise in dealing with addiction related problems. The staff should include a doctor (preferably a psychiatrist), a psychologist, social worker and a counselor who work with the patient as well as with their families.
Addiction Treatment Facility (ATF) at SKIMS MEDICAL COLLEGE BEMINA (JVC Hospital) 
Department of Psychiatry at SKIMS Medical College Bemina (JVC) has started the services recently in view of increasing number of patients indulging in substance abuse and reporting to the departments OPD services. The ATF   SKIMS Medical College Bemina which has been established with the support of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment Govt of India under National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) AIIMS New Delhi,  is providing services by examining the patients, investigating and offering medications (some of them free of cost) in addition to catering to  inmates of the  prison population who are Drug dependentand lodged in the central jail Srinagar. Currently more than 2000 patients are registered in ATF at SKIMS Bemina most of whom are availing treatment option of opioid substitution therapy (OST) and some of them on antagonist treatment. 
It has been found that various personal, social and psychological factors work in a patient which improves their longer treatment adherence. Higher education level, good Family support, married patients and those with Life threatening diagnosis like Hepatitis C & B have shown better treatment adherence and hence are in remission. 
In addition, the Department of Psychiatry is continuously engaged in awareness programs through various Universities of Kashmir, degree colleges, Schools and other stake holders for mass awareness by targeting youth. Awareness programs through Audio, video and print media are being regularly organized to curb this menace. 
Last but not the least, there is a need for all stakeholders to work in collaboration for making these efforts more fruitful to safeguard the future of our society. Also we need to remember that nobody is born addict and we need to treat such individuals as a patients who need Medical / psychiatric care and importantly support of family and close acquaintances to help him come out of this menace.

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