‘I am not afraid of death. I am afraid of living.’
In recent years, one of the major issues that gripped our state is the increasing drug menace. It looms ominously, casting a dark shadow on our community. This issue has not only plagued our society but has also left a trail of despair and destruction. It's heartbreaking to witness how a promising youth is getting trapped in this vicious cycle of drug addiction.
As the term suggests, drug addiction is the compulsive act of taking drugs despite the harmful consequences. There are two common pathways of understanding the reasons behind individuals turning to drugs. One path often begins with peer pressure, where some young people, out of curiosity or a desire to fit in, start using drugs at the encouragement of friends. They quickly find the experience enjoyable, leading to continued use.
The other path highlights the deep-rooted emotional and mental causes. Before getting to the point of why addiction is wrong, let's see what is right about it that people are using to get something that otherwise they don't have.
Focusing on the mental and emotional aspects behind drug use, one of the major reasons is the pursuit of relief and a means to escape from inner suffering. The most commonly used drug is cocaine, which makes the user feel more focused and capable of handling tasks; heroin is used to calm the body, and morphine is used to kill pain.
One way or another, these substances can provide temporary feelings of relaxation and relief to body and mind. And that's why the real question in addiction is not why addiction, but why pain? People turn to drugs as a response to inner pain, driven by a legion of factors such as past abuse, emotional wounds, an inability to cope with daily life's challenges, a lack of understanding and support, and a yearning for relief from the struggles they endure. Users of drugs become so dependent on them that they end up losing many aspects of their lives. Drug abuse has a profound and far-reaching impact on individuals and society. At an individual level, it can lead to various psychological disorders as well as physical health issues. Drug addiction strains family dynamics, leading to disruptions in personal relationships. It shakes the educational and employment sectors by making it harder to get an education and a job, contributing to a cycle of economic instability. Moreover, it can fuel a wide spectrum of criminal activities, from thefts to acts of violence like murder.
The healthcare system nowadays struggles with a heavy load of treating drug-induced medical complications. Beyond the realm of human suffering, drug abuse has significant financial implications, which emphasizes the urgent need for a comprehensive strategy that includes prevention, rehabilitation, and strong support systems.
In conclusion, by addressing the drug abuse issue, which is fundamentally intertwined with mental health, let us break the stigma surrounding mental health and encourage those struggling with addiction to seek psychological support. By adhering to this, we can help our youth escape the clutches of addiction and collaborate to build a community that places a high value on everyone's mental health. It's time to bring about a positive change in society, supporting the youth on their path to recovery and a healthier future. Together, as a united front, we must proudly say 'no' to drugs and 'yes' to a brighter tomorrow.
Areej Durrani, Student at JNC Bangalore.