For years now, we’ve been hearing of drug abuse – be it on TV, in the newspapers, in our schools, colleges, neighborhood, etc. And what do we do? The usual – we pity the “poor fellow” and his family. But what are we actually doing about this? Nothing.
It’s pretty easy to write out a few norms of society. But it’s not easy to get people to actually adhere to these rules.
Governments all over the world threaten offenders with heavy fines and imprisonment. But these threats seem to be in vain. Drug use and abuse have become so rampant amongst all sections of society that you even hear of teenagers being exposed to these atrocities and at such tender ages too, that they tend to reach a point of no return. And what are we doing about it? Nothing.
Does it ever occur to us that imposing fines and using other such means of force is just a farce?
Preventives – Methods to combat drug abuse
That’s what we need. That’s the name of the game. We need to ensure that people – teens especially, know the consequences of their actions. They need to realize that “a little fun” at parties or the usual “let’s try out something new and exciting” can lead to a lifetime of pain and suffering. Smoking weed (usually known as the “gateway drug”) today, can lead to injecting more lethal drugs like Cocaine and Marijuana, tomorrow. This is when awareness plays a key role in stopping such pernicious behavior. Seminars, talks, marathons, walks – all this can change and save lives. If not all, at least a few. Even if it means saving just one life, it’s worth it, isn’t it?
Another aspect would be explaining to families on how to deal with an addict. Yelling, telling off, abusing, crying – all this only gets the person more frustrated. Addiction sometimes can be very scary for the addict and at that point, he’ll need your unconditional support. He needs to know that you’re there for him. And you’re not going to give up on him. This can be very challenging for parents but it is also extremely necessary that they understand what their child is going through. This will enable the child to actually open up to his parents and see things in a better, more optimistic perspective. He’ll want to change his ways, knowing how it hurts his parents and yet seeing how they support him in his struggle.
Most people say “he brought it onto himself” or “she knew the consequences and yet..” but it doesn’t always work that way. Circumstances lead adolescents and teenagers, even young adults to behave in irrational ways – to seek an escape from all worldly troubles and pressures. And what do they turn to? Something they think can “lift their spirits” – Drugs.
Curiosity gets the best of us but as the old saying goes “curiosity kills the cat” and as clichéd as that sounds, in the case of drugs, it actually is true.
So instead of waiting for individuals to “explore” drugs for themselves, why not expose them to its ill effects from the very beginning? This is when awareness in schools and colleges is of utmost importance. However, the worst way to deal with this situation is to start with “God says don’t do drugs”. God also says don’t murder, yet we find people killing in the name of God. So what you can do instead, is point out the cons of “trying out” drugs. There are obviously no pros, except for medical purposes and this rare, and sometimes inevitable therapeutic use of drugs can be pointed out as well. But there is no such thing as a good “high” or a good drug. All drugs are bad for you and hence should be avoided.
The last thing we can do to help addicts fully recover is rehabilitation. Detoxification alone is ineffective. We need to get them to live their lives again. Drug-free. Trouble free. Getting an addict to stop drug use can be very painful for him/her especially since the individual will suffer from withdrawal symptoms, which is said to be nearly as painful as death. In fact, withdrawal from a drug often leads to depression and suicidal attempts. So counseling sessions, group therapy, vocational training, financial aid and the lot can actually help build up their confidence and get them to stand on their own feet. This will also help them deal with legal, social, psychological, physical and financial consequences.
Benefits of rehab
Drug rehabilitation centers are such a necessity. Every state should have at least one. There are people out there who need help. Who wants to be helped but there’s nowhere to go. These centers would thus play a major role in curtailing drug abuse. Knowing that there is someone out there who understands you and is willing to help you, not judge you, can be a real source of comfort. And this is where group therapy and rehab come into play.
One can go on and on about the ill effects of drugs and measures to prevent such problems but finally, at the end of the day, it depends on each individual and their support system. And of course, their knowledge about such acts. All I know is drugs cost you more than just money.
So instead, make health your new “high”. Not drugs.