A vexed question : Who is responsible for increasing drug abuse among youth?
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A vexed question : Who is responsible for increasing drug abuse among youth?

Addiction is a very broad term that has a very fine line between positive thinking and negativity. Most of the people do not even realize when it will cross from this side to the other. But here intoxication refers to a list of such unwanted habits, the consequences of which take not only the individual, but also his family to the threshold of ruin.

Individuals and families are not unitary but are a part of the society. Therefore, the plight and discord of a family also affects the society. Let us discuss these habits in detail from their earlier stages to their culmination.

 What is drug addiction?

If you say in simple language, any such habit without which a person starts getting restless. If he is not able to live without it for a long time, his mind becomes disturbed; it is a type of intoxication. It can be an act, something to eat, or a thing to see. By not doing that work at a regular interval, the mind starts getting distracted. There is a feeling of incompleteness. Many of these habits have an adverse effect on health. Such as use of tobacco, cigarette, bidi, hookah, habit of drinking alcohol. Consuming all these things in excessive amounts has a bad effect on health. The vital organs like liver, kidney and heart are directly or indirectly contaminated. Due to continuous consumption of tobacco, gutka and pan masala, people fall prey to deadly diseases like cancer along with deterioration of mouth, teeth, throat and tongue.

“Ati sarvatra varjayet” means consuming too much of anything is never healthy. Even excessive consumption of tea and coffee gives rise to health problems. Therefore it is also an addiction.

There was a time when people used to wear a new watch for the first time, then they used to see the time again and again. Today, crores of people have become victims of the same addiction. Many people keep on realizing that as their own phone is ringing, such people repeatedly take out their phone from their pocket and watch it. Some people keep checking WhatsApp, mail, etc. after a while without any notification.

Nowadays, there is another addiction most of the people have got, if a person posts a post on any social media, the anxiety to see how many people are liking the post? How many people are commenting? Checking the mobile again and again to see this is also an addiction. It is a waste of both time and energy. At times, there is competition for comments and likes from his classmates and relatives. They suffer from depression when they get less likes than their competitors.

This mentality is from common people to big personalities. The practice of measuring one’s popularity by the number of followers has increased very rapidly. In order to increase their followers, people do promotion; sometimes they also do vulgar acts so that their reach can be expanded. Many times, people of the film world adopt tactics to keep themselves in the discussion by making ludicrous statements on any subject. Since most of the youth are affected by them, so all these people use their resources as much as possible to stay in the news and to increase their popularity, they post short videos, tiktok type, messages etc. on social media. In this era of marketisation, it has also become a source of income.

 On the basis of information from various sources, it is known that Cristiano Ronaldo gets 11.9 crores for a commercial post on Instagram. Talking about Indian stars, Virat Kohli gets Rs 5 crore for a post while Priyanka Chopra gets Rs 3 crore for a post. That is, the addiction of millions of people is a means of earning for them.

It is clear from all these things that it is difficult to say whether any habit is bad for all or good for all. Drinking alcohol is a bad habit for some and in many places it is part of the culture. There will be crores of people who have died due to excessive consumption of alcohol and damage to the lungs. Whereas in European countries there are examples of people who have consumed alcohol from the age of 16 and live without any disease till the age of 100.

There are also people in India who smoke cigarettes continuously for many years, yet they do not have any respiratory problems till the age of more than 90 years. This means you can deduce that if anything is consumed in proper quantity in life, then it is not that harmful. The harmful effect occurs when its quantity increases day by day. Then it turns into an addiction after which it becomes difficult to control.

The habit of drinking alcohol is considered very bad in states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh while in Punjab, Haryana, South Indian states it is seen as a part of the diet. Offering liquor, bidis, cigarettes to relatives is a common practice. Consumption of alcohol is a common practice for people living in hilly areas.

According to authentic information, drinking 20 ml of wine per day is beneficial for health. On the one hand it destroys many toxic substances of the body, on the other hand it helps in accelerating the metabolic activities of the body and digesting food.

This means that depending on the individual and geographical regions, alcohol can prove to be a boon for someone and a curse for someone. We often see such people in our nearby villages or cities who was affected badly from consumption of alcohol.

Most of the people are victims of addiction in one way or other. There will be very few people who will not be victims of some kind of addiction. There will be some such people in your life, with whom you will be talking to many times a day on the phone, in which most of the discussions are unnecessary. But knowing this, unintentionally, that number is dialed again and again with your fingers. All these are also symptoms of addiction.

Seeing someone’s photo again and again, filling your room with his picture is a type of addiction that occurs in most boys and girls in their youth. But all these addictions do not have that much effect in life. It starts decreasing with increasing age. Some of it is natural but some is due to lack of sociality in the social environment.

Since time immemorial, we Indians keep a distance from our children. Perhaps we are afraid that if we stay more closely with the son or daughter, then our control will end over them. About 30-35 years ago I talked to a 90-92 year old man, he told that in his youth, no one could adopt his child even if he wanted to, so that the family members would not start saying that he is taking care of his family only. It was a practice in the joint family that people did not talk to their wife and children in public. It was a collective responsibility to take equal care of all under the direction of the head of the family.

At that time, there used to be a joint family but now the trend of nuclear family has increased rapidly. People’s children are also two or three on average than before six or seven, so the direct communication of children with their parents has increased.

However, children are speaking more vocally with their parents in cities than in villages. Now people have started mingling with their children. But still we avoid discussing all those issues, which should be needed from time to time with the growing age of the children. The result is that they get incomplete information from their classmates or other sources with some misconceptions. With this, we start doubting our children so much that the child gradually stops sharing his words with the parents.

Remember when your child was small, as soon as he came back from your work place in the evening, he used to come and share all the things of the day, whether it was school or friends.You used to listen to him very carefully, you liked it, slowly you stopped taking interest in his words, then he stopped telling. When the people of the house stopped talking, he started talking to the friends of the school and college outside. You started spying on him too. For example, whose phone was it? Was it a boy or a girl? What were you talking about for so long? Why does he keep calling again and again? Come on, I have asked, but you are never satisfied with any of his answers. You keep on thinking that something is not being hidden somewhere. Frequently troubled by Toka Toki, your child starts online chat and in this sequence also comes in contact with people on social media platforms whom he/she does not even know.

 Everything she wants to do in a virtual world is far from reality. From drug dealers to prostitution people are also very active in this virtual world who are looking for new customers. It is possible to get caught in them. It has far-reaching consequences.

Every person in the child’s mind has the urge to touch, taste, see something, he wants to touch, taste or see it regardless of its consequences. After a year, even an innocent child burns his hand trying to hold the lamp, not knowing that putting his hand in the fire will burn his hand. Sometimes, in order to taste something like a lead bullet, it gets stuck in the throat. When he starts to understand the consequences of this, then he does not want to do this.

 Now the question is how to know the possible outcome?

One way is that we share information about the result of a particular task in time with accurate evidence and logic. Secondly, after suffering the consequences, the person should experience himself. When the first method does not result in the right way ahead of time, then naturally there will be a tendency towards the second method. In this sequence, sometimes it gets out of control. Suppose, a child out of curiosity or under pressure from his friends drank a cigarette or alcohol someday. What would you do if he came and told you at home or if you came to know from his attitude?

Most of us will get enraged at the actions of the children and will try to scold or beat them. They will exhibit sorrow as if everything is over. Then the husband wife starts blaming each other for his conduct and his family. Apart from this, we will try to restrict the movement of the child. Often people snatch his mobile, laptop etc. Your sarcasm starts creating a spark of hatred in him and the child starts living alone, stops talking to us. We feel that we are improving the child while the first knock of his deterioration starts from that day itself. Now the child will do all those tasks but will not tell you. Because he has already seen the result of telling.

On the contrary, after we learn that the children have consumed alcohol or cigarettes. Let us sit with him lovingly and share his experiences. Then explain with love that the curiosity you just did is not a crime, it happens often in this age, if you have any experience of this age, then share it and then explain with love that legally wrong. You do that in the future stay away from it and when you are 21 years old then you decide for yourself whether to consume it or not.Do it accordingly This will not only remove the guilt of the child, but also by keeping the decision of his discretion paramount, which will also increase his self-confidence. At the same time, his trust in you will also increase.

If the above fact is understood properly then it can be said that all of us are responsible for the increasing tendency of drug addiction among the youth. Everyone has to discharge his duty honestly. Society can be given a new direction in a more effective way by not only closing liquor shops but by educating them about the ill effects of excessive consumption.

According to the WHO report, about 6,000 people die every day from alcohol all over the world. Of these, 28% of deaths are due to injuries after drinking, such as traffic crashes, suicide or assault, while 21% die from digestive diseases, 19% due to heart diseases, and the rest from infectious diseases. It is caused by diseases, cancer, mental disorders and other health conditions. About one lakh deaths are indirectly caused by alcohol use in India every year. Apart from this, 30000 deaths occur due to cancer in people who drink alcohol. Which was long ago declared a Group 1 carcinogen by the WHO. However, liver cirrhosis is the most common among drinkers, causing about 1.4 million deaths annually.

This figure is only for the people who consume alcohol, whereas the consumption of other intoxicants like opium, charas, ganja, cannabis, heroin (smack, brown sugar, morphine, pethidine) etc., causes thousands of deaths every year. The most addictive of these substances is LSD. (LSD) is done. It is a synthetic chemical substance. This intoxicating substance is so powerful that three lakh doses are made from a single weighing. Its amount, less than a grain of salt, produces many psychiatric reactions in humans. It is almost impossible to fall asleep for 8-10 hours after consuming this substance. LSD After taking it, the phenomenon of flashback starts similar to ganja, the person becomes violent and commits a crime and it creates a state of complete confusion. The consumption of these substances is never advised by the doctors, on discontinuing the consumption of such substances, panic, depression, permanent mental incontinence arise.

Cigarettes include cigarettes, bidis, cigars, chroot, snuff tobacco. Tobacco is cultivated whose leaves are broad and bitter. Nicotine substances have no medical use but there is a risk of physical dependence. It stimulates the central nervous system by creating relaxation in the addict and removes boredom. Excess consumption of tobacco causes diseases like heart disease, lung cancer, respiratory tract. Over 2,300 people have died due to drug overdoses in the last two years. According to the United Nations report, there has been a 30% increase in drug use in India in the last decade.

It is the collective responsibility of the parents, family, society and governments to educate the young generation ahead of time to save them from any possible addiction. It is an addiction that is woven into the window of an imaginary world in which once a dive can be taken out, but repeatedly divers are believed to drown.

Author : Arbind Singh

Director, Career Strategists IAS