THE WORLD Health Organization defines drugs “as any substance, taken by a human being which modifies one or more of the body functions. Drug abuse is self-administration of a drug for non-medical reasons resulting in functional inpatient, and /or, social, physical or emotional harm. Drug dependence is defined as a state of interaction between a drug and the human body, characterized by behavioural and other responsibilities which include a compulsion to take the drug periodically or on a continuous basis in order to experience its psychic effect or avoid the discomfort of its absence.

Drug addiction is a major issue nowadays. It has three separate phases; tolerance, habituation and physical dependence. Tolerance is the diminishing effects of the same dose of a drug or the need to increase the size of the dose to get an effect similar to the earliest ones. Habituation is the emotional or psychological need felt for a drug. Dependence is the body’s need to get the drug.

The motivation for substance abuse is largely due to associations. Never the fewer cases do occur when depressive state act as a motivator for the use of drugs, eventually leading to addiction. Recognizing features of these addicts are Social deterioration, Physical weakness, Job problems, Scars/marks on arms smell (in case of alcohol and solvent abuse), Neglect of personal hygiene, Excessive sleepiness and lethargy. Patients need treatment in a proper and specialized setup. Addicts use different drugs for a different purpose depending on the characteristics of the drugs. Some drugs have sedative effects, some are stimulants. Some cause depression and others bring sleep.

Drug addiction is essentially a social problem. In most cases, it develops from social contacts with those who already using the drugs. Drugs abuse is concentrated among groups that are economically and socially well developed. Teenagers fall easy prey to addiction. Sometimes they take drugs just for a taste and gradually develops an addiction to them.  It is more widespread in countries which are highly developed and where there is a lack of family life and supervision over the activities of the young generation and where children lack family affection and are left to themselves. In some situations, these drugs find in an entry among those who are disappointed in love or in groups lacking entertainment or job opportunities.

The physical health and sexual energy of the addicts weaken so rapidly that a young man of thirties looks like an old man of over sixties. Addicts bring ruin to the economic structure of the families. Drugs being very expensive, take a major portion of their income in their purchase. The addicts may even lose his job of work (which is inevitable as his capacity to work is reduced with addiction) resulting in the economic break down of the family.  Physically handicapped babies are born to women who are addicts or those who use them indiscriminately in pregnancy. About 10% of the mentally retarded children are born to opium-addicted mothers. Addicts lose self-confidence and will to work. They turn pessimists and come to believe that they are not capable of doing anything in life. They become a burden for their family.

In some communities, it is a part of their culture to take alcohol during meals. The upper classes of society use expansive drugs and the less affluent people use illegally manufactured drugs or cannabis e.g.,  charas, bhang, tan, ganja etc. Drug addiction is noticeable among beggars, mujawars of dargahs, mailings and dervishes inhabiting takes and shrines of saints.

So to prevent this major issue Government and NGO’s should take some preventive measures like the cultivation of drug plants should be licensed. Manufacture, possessions, sale and transport of all intoxicating drugs should be checked and brought under control for appropriate use. In the present regime, the law prohibits the use of alcohol by local inhabitants, but some underground activities appear to continue the practice, but by far, the majority of population abstains from the use of alcohol.

Establishment of foci to collect data regarding the addict population, nature of the drugs used in the country the local customs and attitudes of the people and the best method of combating this evil. Unemployment problem should be solved by increasing job opportunities. Economic worries provide a fertile ground. Knowledge and awareness about drugs are given to people through social contacts, books and novels.

Benjamin Alire Saenz Said, If you can quit for a day, you can quit for a lifetime.

For the management of addicts, the assistant unit should be formed which consists of a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a doctor and social workers. Occupational and vocational training unit will provide facilities for the training of the addict in some trade or vocation according to the local conditions, and skill of the addict.

All adults requiring an operation, medical treatment, or psychotherapy should be admitted to the relevant sections of the unit working under the charge of doctors and nurses. The addicts do not have any interest in work. In order to make their stay in the welfare Home attractive and pleasant, the recreation facilities are very essential. Besides managing the affairs of the Welfare Home, this unit should help the addicts after their training in the occupational and vocational units in getting employment in factories.

Submitted by “AREEZ MANZOOR”