According to website of WHO “This year, the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking was observed under the theme of "Addressing drug challenges in health and humanitarian crises" on 26th June 2022. According to the website “In 1987, the United Nations General Assembly decided to observe 26th June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse”.
If you ask me in short what is remedy? I will say again and again “Medical Treatment mixed with an unconditional love is key to treat Drug abuse”. I hope together , we can help more and more drug abusers keeping in view " MISSION WAPSI " initiative launched by H.E. Lt. Governor of JK Mr. Manoj Sinha for drug abusers. We the members of civil society can chalk out various awareness programes for drug abusers and their family members and friends. For sake of clarity I will need to explain stages of drug abuse in a very simple language not strictly medical, so that we understand drug abuser is a victim and no one continues taking drugs on his/her choice.
Starting stage: On ill advise of friends or peer pressure as well as easy availability of drugs a person starts taking drugs to forget his/her problem or just pleasure. Another cause can be parental pressure as some parent’s wrongly think only becoming a doctor, engineer or running a successful business defines true success. Any way coming back to drug abusers, After some time, s/he wants to give up drugs as pleasure of taking drugs has now become a pain, emotional as well as physical. There can be varied reasons for taking drugs from break ups with girl or boy friend, seeing parents having quarrels on regular basis, childhood sexual abuse [usually by a close relative or family friend]. Now drug abuser always thinks of drugs, can reduce drug dosage or even abstain for few days. This is the stage when he reduces spending on non-drug expenses.
Middle Stage: Stage of tolerance starts [if previously he was using 6 tablets of Alprazolam or Librosar he/she uses 10 tablets per day, or even can add cannabis to his drug usage. Personal hygiene is very appalling. By now s/he has hidden supply of drugs, drug abuser is desperate, s/he can sell his brand new car for even 5 thousand rupees.
3rd and 4th Stage: This is the stage when drug abuser is totally under control of multiple drugs but tries hard to give drugs; he is in agony and pain while the family or friends think he is enjoying drugs and call him by derogatory names. The line between regular use and risky use/abuse is a very thin one, but is usually defined as continued use of drugs in spite of severe social and legal consequences. What might have begun as a temporary form of escape can quickly lead to more serious problems. This is the stage where the warning signs of addiction will begin to appear: craving, preoccupation with the drug, and symptoms of depression, irritability and fatigue if the drug is not used.
Physical dependence on a drug is often intertwined with addiction. Characteristics of dependence and drug addiction include withdrawal symptoms and compulsive use of the drug despite severe negative consequences to his or her relationships, physical and mental health, personal finances, job security and criminal record.
Withdrawal Symptoms: When a drug abuser starts to give up drugs s/he experiences severe symptoms which can vary but most commonly are severest of severe like back pain, abnormal heart palpitations, drenching in sweat, loose motions.
Number of drug abusers varies from country to country or from state to state. It is impossible for any government to reach all drug abusers, so we can create locality wise health centers’ where general health as well as mental health counseling or guidance can be done. If civil society opens a drug deaddiction in any locality, no one will go there because of stigma attached with mental health disorders in general and especially drug abuse. So we can instead name it as HEALTH CENTRE instead of DRUG DEADDICTION COUNSELLING CENTRE.
In such a ground level unique initiative following help can be given by following people on full time or part time basis.
(1) One Qualified Psychiatrist who has one counselor can guide patients of drug abuse, many a times people do not know about various facilities provided by government.
(2) Role of Rich and well established industries is also important, although many can help by spreading awareness on drug abuse, for a start let us not use derogatory terms like “Drug ADDICTS’, instead use drug ABUSERS. If we want drug abusers to take medical help or remain drug free after rehabilitation, then giving respect and earning trust is must.
(3) Monetary help to organizations working on drug abuse for conducting screening camps, giving jobs to former drug abuser and at least ratio should be 1:3.
(4) Imparting skills to former drug abusers so that their self esteem is enhanced and they don’t fall in trap of drug mafia.
(1) Don’t lock drug abuser in a room, thinking his habit will die, most probably of heart attack.
If drug abuser has stopped taking drugs don’t remind him/her of his past deeds.
(2) Give them hope.
(3) Religious preachers of all religions, teachers, social workers have important role in identification and prevention of drug abuse in Kashmir or any other place.
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