There are all kinds of misconceptions in our society regarding drugs. While some have made alcohol as a part of their festivities, others use intoxicating drinks and tobacco for socializing.
The experts opine that “misconceptions” related to drugs are responsible for persons with drug dependence not seeking treatment.
“Around 90 percent of the persons with drug related problems don’t seek treatment,” said Rakesh K Chadda, Professor, Head Department of Psychiatry, and Chief, National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical SciencesAll India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.
Dr. Chadda in his write up for The Rising Kashmir attributed the drug dependence as an “illness” with biological, familial and psychosocial causes.
“Drug dependence is often considered as a bad habit and not an illness. In fact, drug dependence or addiction is an illness like tuberculosis or hypertension and needs treatment,” he said.
He revealed that the misconceptions are responsible for persons with drug dependence not seeking treatment.
Elaborating on the timeframe when people generally start taking drugs, Dr. Chadda said, “Drug use often starts in early childhood or adolescence. There could be a number of reasons for initiation of drugs. Curiosity, peer pressure, misconception that drugs relieve stress, role models (seeing elders using drugs) and surrogate advertisements are often in the background of initiation of drug use. Tobacco in the form of cigarettes or smokeless tobacco and inhalants are often called “entry drugs.”
As per the doctor one of the best ways to deal with the problem is by raising public awareness about the ill effects of drugs and that the persons using drugs can be helped.
He said children in schools need to be sensitized about it and especially “How to Say No to Drugs.”
Urging for all round support in facilitating the youth to come out of drug menace, the doctor said, “The person using drugs needs affection and support from the society in general and family in particular. He should not be criticized. It is possible with help from his family and friends, a person with drug dependence could be brought back to a drug free state.”
The doctor believes that the media also needs to take responsibility to address the menace by not showing surrogate advertisements.
It is important to know that treatment for drug problems is to be taken at least for a few months, he said.
He further informed that there are both medicines and counselling used in treatment.