01. WHAT IS DRUG ADDICTION?
THE official classification systems as outlined in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM III) refer to drugs as substance abuse and substance dependence. In DSM II the term dependence included both psychological dependence and physiological dependence. In DSM III dependence included only in the physiological sense and generally requires evidence of either tolerance or withdrawal symptoms. Drugs can be divided into five groups:
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I) CANNABIS INOICA: This includes 'Bhang' and 'Marijuana' (charas, ganja). They do not lead to physiological dependence in the strict sense. After consumption a person feels euphoric and light-headed. He enjoys and lives in his little world. These drugs can also lead to confusional states and minimal withdrawal symptoms like insomnia, restlessness, decreased memory, nausea etc.
II) MORPHINE AND HEROINE: They are pain killers and have hypnotic effect. Heroine is more potent than morphine. Similar to morphine is pethadine. The most common drug of the modern era: Brown sugar or smack is crude heroine. They are hard core drugs. Once a person is addicted to it. It is very difficult to get rid of this habit and the addict may commit any crime to satisfy his need.
III) SLEEPING PILLS: Slow acting and medium acting barbiturates and Diazepam (Valium, Calmpose) help in going to sleep. In the modern world of jet race and competition a large number of people are taking sleeping pills. But they can't give natural sleep. They have side effects and after effects. Valium is one of the three most commonly used medicines in the world.
IV) AMPHETAMINE:The drug of the first three categories generally causes drowsiness and sleep, whereas Amphetamine is a stimulant and keeps a person awake. They are commonly known as pop pills. If these are taken for a long time in a higher dose it can induce a psychotic state similar to Schizophrenia.
Some students and executives who have to keep themselves awake for long hours, sometimes use this drug and in the long run they get addicted to it. After taking Amphetamine a person becomes very confident but his actions, become very fast and his mind wanders from one topic to another. As a result no one understands what he is saying or doing. Hence it is not advisable to take pop pills even during examinations.
V) ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO: In modern society these are socially accepted substances but they can also be considered as drugs because they are extremely hazardous to health and it is very difficult to get rid of these addictions once the person gets habituated to them.
02. WHY DO THEY TAKE DRUGS?
SINCE the abuse of Brown Sugar (Crude Heroine) started, it has spread with an unprecedented speed and has trapped millions of youths into its illusive charm. If not impossible it is very difficult to free one self from the tentacles of this monster. Hence one should understand the reason as to why one starts abusing drugs and put efforts in preventing them.
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I) MENTAL STRESS: It is not an exaggeration if one says that the end result of modern progress and development is mental stress. Modern man always tries to find out various shortcuts to achieve his goals. In order to overcome various types of psychological stress and mental turmoil some people seek the solution in the psychotropic drugs. These drugs create only a false sense of well-being and are more dangerous than slow poison.
II) DISTURBED HOME: In spite of all the factors that have given impetus to the spread of the epidemic, a question arises as to why some people succumb to drugs while others withstand the false attraction. If parents are not able to give two priceless ingredients viz. TIME and LOVE, the adolescent may seek the solution in drugs. A child who is growing in a disturbed home where parents don't have good relationship among themselves or are busy in their own activities, is more prone to drugs. Wurmser (1974) and Khantzian (1982) both considered developmental impairments as an important factor in turning a person towards drugs.
III) PEER PRESSURE: At least one among four drug addicts has his first trip due to peer pressure. The fear of losing friends makes them obey the demands. Such occasional trips ultimately make them hardcore drug addicts.
IV) STATUS SYMBOL: Adolescent period is full of confusion and anxiety. During this period one also feels his identity crisis. In many cases drugs are used to identify oneself as a mature person. Those college students who take drugs get more importance and are accepted in the circle. Hence to identify with the group one starts using drugs.
V) EASY AVAILABILITY: Mental tension and disturbed home were existed before twenty years also but drug addiction was not so common because they were not easily available.
03. HOW TO IDENTIFY A DRUG ADDICTS?
NOW-a-days parents are also anxious about the manifold increase in the abuse of drug among the youth. On one extreme many parents fear that their child might be taking drugs when in fact he may be completely innocent. And on the other extreme some parents are so busy in their social and professional work that they don't care although there are several changes in their child's behavior which warrants attention. Following are some of the points which will help in identifying a drug addict.
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1. DEMANDS MORE MONEY: All of a sudden the child will start demanding much more pocket expenses without any reasonable cause. Day by day the demand may keep on increasing, because the drugs are quite expensive and day by day the amount of the drug required keeps I on increasing. He or she may sell his or her personal valuables to buy the drugs.
2. SPENDS MORE TIME IN THE TOILET: There can be other causes of spending more time In the toilet but this is also a valuable point to be noted. He may spend more time in the toilet I so as to take drugs in the toilet.
3. UNUSED TOBACCO IS FOUND: For Brown sugar addicts a very important point is that I unused tobacco is found in the toilet or else where. This is because normally some tobacco I from a cigarette is taken out and in its place brown sugar is filled.
4. COMES HOME LATE: An addict regularly comes home very late. When he comes home usually he feels sleepy and without taking his meals he may go to sleep.
5. PHYSICAL AND BEHAVIOURAL CHANGES:A brown sugar addict grows physically weak. He becomes indifferent towards his dress and personal cleanliness. In his behaviour he may become more lethargic and short-tempered.
6. PINPOINT PUPIL: Brown sugar reduce the size of the pupil of the eyes. Hence the pupil of a drug addict are very small and they cannot respond when light is suddenly flashed on it.
7. DOCTORS OPINION: Remember that the above mentioned one or more symptoms can be found even in non-addicts. Therefore, please don't make a mistake of telling your child that he or she is a drug addict because some of these symptoms are seen. The best way is to consult a doctor, preferably, a psychiatrist who will be in the best position to find out the cause of the various symptoms. Even after the final diagnosis is made you need a lot of patience and a systematic approach to help him to come out of the addiction.
04. TOBACCO: A SLOW POISON
TOBACCO is a socially accepted drug. Although it seems to be an innocent substance it is like a slow poison. The money spent in curing tobacco related diseases is substantially more than revenue collected on tobacco.
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CARCINOGENIC IN NATURE: Various analytic studies done on tobacco smoke have revealed that it contains about 400 chemicals that are harmful to one's health. Among these atleast 48 substances are carcinogenic in nature.
Cancer of Lips, cancer of Tongue, cancer of Oesophagus etc. are caused due to the direct heat of smoking.
Lung cancer is found to be twenty times common in smokers as compared to non smokers. The carcinogic effects of tobacco itself makes tobacco as hazardous as any other drugs.
DETERIORATION OF LIFE POWER: Tobacco does not cause physical dependence, yet, it is difficult to get rid of it. Gradually it deteriorates one's life power ultimately leading to death.
HAZARDOUS EFFECTS ON FOETUS: Various research studies have conclusively proved that if a mother is smoking it is harmful to the developing foetus. Tobacco can also cross the placental barrier and cause its poisonous effects in the delicate parts of the foetus. Hence for the sake of the child one should stop smoking.
HARMFUL TO PASSIVE SMOKERS: The dangerous effects of tobacco does not end at harming one-self. The gas that is exhaled by a smoker is inhaled by the non smoker sitting or standing near him. This is called passive smoking. Tobacco causes 25% harmful effect to even passive smokers. Next time when some one smokes near you do remember that you are also going to get one fourth of the hazardous effects. Tobacco has many negative points. However, if one stops taking tobacco gradually its harmful effects reduces and after two to four years his chances of getting lung cancer is the same as that of a non smoker. This is the right time that smokers make firm decision to give up the crippling habit.
05. EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL ON HEALTH
SOME people have the misconception that a small amount of alcohol is good for health. However, this is a wrong notion because you don't know when the amount increases. Alcohol has the following and several other hazardous effects.
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INCREASE IN ACCIDENTS: Under the influence of alcohol one's logical thinking is disturbed and he becomes over-confident. More than 60% of road and air accidents are found to occur under the influence of alcohol.
DISTURBANCE IN FAMILY & FRIENDS: Normally a person tries to behave in a socially accepted manner. We have specific neurons in the brain which control the socially unacceptable behaviour. Under the influence of alcohol these specific neurons become inactive. Hence a person behaves in a socially unacceptable manner. He becomes over-talkative. He says unreal things. He quarrels with friends and family members. He may even beat his children and wife. This results in loss of peace and unhappiness in the family.
DAMAGE TO THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM: Alcohol causes irritation of the digestive system. It causes gastritis and peptic ulcer. In some cases pancreatitis is also found to be alcohol related. It also damages the liver cells. 10% of alcoholics suffer from cirrhosis of liver.
BAD SMELL:Due to the bad smell others easily recognise it. This gives a negative impression on others. It also becomes a barrier in communication and friendship.
SLEEPLESSNESS: In the beginning alcohol may help to induce sleep, but day by day if the amount consumed is not increased it leads to sleeplessness. This forces the person to take more alcohol which has more harmful effects. Under the influence of alcohol a person may sleep at night but in the morning invariably he feels guilty.
BRAIN DAMAGE: The consumption of moderate to a high amount of alcohol over a period of many years can even damage one's brain. Korsacoffs psychosis and wirnicks encephalopathy are caused due to alcoholism. Due to such diseases a person loses his memory and co-ordination of movements and becomes an invalid.
Due to all these harmful effects one should not take alcohol, even occasionally.
06. HOW DOES THE ADDICTION CONTINUE?
SOME drug addicts rationalize their dependence on drugs by saying that drugs give them a heavenly experience. It is the greatest myth because within few weeks they start experiencing the sufferings of hell. The psychological effects experienced by an addict, if the drug is not consumed for 12 hours, are so painful that there can't be any hell worse than this. Most drug addicts finds it difficult to withstand this turkey and hence for keeping themselves comfortable they continue to take drugs not for any pleasurable feelings but in order to avoid the withdrawal effects.
The following are some of the common steps taken by an addict to satisfy the craving:
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SPENDS MORE MONEY: Day by day the quantity of drug intake required to satisfy the individual increases and hence he needs more money. The drug becomes his first need and hence he tries to collect money from all possible sources. If necessary he may even sell his House holds valuables to buy drugs.
STEALING AND ROBBERY: If the money required to buy drugs is not available by normal means, he may start stealing various articles from home or the neighborhood. There are many examples in which big robberies were committed by drug addicts for they were in need of money.
THREATENING: Another means adopted by a drug addict is of threatening parents and others that he will kill younger ones if money is not given. He may even hurt the mother or other members of the family.
DRUG TRANSPORTING: For transporting illegal drugs from one place to another many a time drug addicts are used who readily agree to do such a dangerous work in order to satisfy the urge from the earnings. This becomes a vicious circle in which one sin leads to another bigger sin.
MURDER AND CRIME: A Non-addict would consider all this behaviour as foolish and silly which can easily be avoided. But for an addict the urge is so strong that he can't live without it. He feels as if he is going to die if the drug is not given and hence he becomes inclined to commit any type of crime to get the drug.
SUICIDE: There are many examples where drug addicts have committed suicide as the drug was not available or they were fed up of such a life.
AIDS: These facts need not frighten a person because proper education can prevent this deadly disease to a great extent and timely treatment can also cure any addict.
07. STEPS HELPFUL TO PREVENT DRUG ADDICTION
WHETHER there is any possibility of a particular child becoming a drug addict can be predicted with some accuracy. This depends on the way in which parents deal with a child. The following five steps if adopted by parents will protect children to a great extent in remaining free from drug addiction:
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I) BALANCED AFFECTION: Give equal affection to all your children. The best step would be to give them unconditional affection. Show your affection not for their achievement but as an individual. A child gets confused if he gets scolding for a particular behavior at one occasion and appreciation for a similar behavior on another occasion. A child receiving balanced affection will have a healthy mental growth.
II) EDUCATION AND INFORMATION: In the past few years radical changes have taken place in the present society. For the mental and social health of the children, parents must educate and inform their children on different aspects. There need not be any fear that if they have the knowledge about drugs they will be inclined to have experience of it. It is a wrong belief because if you don't give correct information then somehow they will get faulty information from friends which will incline them to taste it. We have already lost one generation, for saving the second generation, education about drugs by an expert to all school children must become the past and parcel of the curriculum.
III) UNDERSTANDING AND INTEREST: If you desire that your child should not become neurotic or a drug addict, don't be too busy in your business, profession or social life. Always spare some time for them. When they are bothering you don't turn them down by saying that you are too busy. Adolescence is a stormy period, if you don't understand them they will turn to unhealthy means. Take interest in their life and give them proper guidance.
IV) CARE AND PROTECTION: The seeds of drug addiction are sown in early mother-child relationship. Although in the first few years the child is not able to express his requirements properly yet there is a great desire for parental care and affection. If they are not given then the child experiences mental turmoil and inner vaccum.
V) SETTING A GOOD EXAMPLE: Parents themselves should not use tobacco, alcohol or drugs. Remember that the children are going to follow your example. Hence set a good example before them by not taking drugs, tobacco or alcohol.
08. Treatment of Drug Addicts
All possible help and co-operation need to be rendered to bring out an addict from the tentacles of the monster. Detoxification medicine to reduce with drawn, exercise, healthy diet, counseling, relaxation. Motivation & positive thinking are some of them. The real battle begins once an addict is out of the rehabilitation center. Patients family members and good friends need to accept and support them almost for one year.
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Yoga & Exercise: Yoga is a healing system. Yoga is believed to calm the nervous system & balance the body, mind and spirit. And Exercise enhances the over all health which lead to better life style. Yoga practice can give new way for healthy living.
Fruits: Fruits are stimulant in substance that quickly changes a symptom in an unnatural way. Drugs are also simulative but are killers. Fruits are the natural food promotes healthy & happy physiological function. It has a natural way to feel good, which produces sufficient energy & help in de-addiction. Counselling:- The psychosocial counseling aims
Community services: Community services engages youth and others, strengthen there inner ability. It help people to achieve their education. Social and all round development goals. Engaging youth in deliberating, planning, implementing and reflecting on their community service, thereby sustaining high quality life.
09. Spiritual Empowerment through Raja yoga
ART OF POSITIVE THINKING: Raja Yoga teaches positive thinking. In spite of all difficulties and hurdles a person develops a positive approach that keeps himself completely free from the vicious circle.
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EXPERIENCE OF SUPER SENSEOUS JOY: During meditation practice as one tunes his mind with the Supreme -- the ocean of bliss - he himself experiences the supersensory bliss. Such a positive experience reduced the craving for the harmful substances. When a person experiences the real sense of well-being his attraction for the false sense of well-being reduces. And he naturally develops a dislike for such substances.
POWER TO FACE:Raja Yoga practice develops the power to face and power of tolerance. Due to the increase in will-power a person is able to withstand the withdrawal symptoms very easily.
POWER TO JUDGE: The knowledge of eternal and immortal self -- the soul and the effect of positive actions on one's personality traits creates firmness in one's decision to give up the unhealthy habit. In spite of all temporary attractions and pressures one can remain firm in his decision.
EVEN after medical treatment for drug addiction relapse rate is very high. Therefore some supportive methods also should be taught to drug addicts. Raja yoga Meditation as taught by Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University is an easy to learn technique of positive thinking based on spiritual understanding. It is a life-style that transforms one's intellect and personality traits. Raja Yoga is a unique technique which helps in a number of ways to a drug addict to be completely free from drug dependence and to become a useful member of society
POSITIVE AND PURE LIFE-STYLE: Raja Yoga meditation is not only the relaxation technique but in fact it is a positive and pure life-style. The spiritual knowledge and meditation practice makes one's mind clear, clean, and free from negative tendencies. There are hundreds of examples where drug addicts got tremendous motivation within a few days after, learning meditation.
Meditation is derived from the Latin word medari which means to heal. Meditation heals the trumas of psyche and empowers the person form within. Deep experience of relaxation, super-sensuous bliss and mind power creates natural aversion and brings a person completely out of th vicious cycle. The craving for drugs is mainly due to inner emptiness and when the inner space is failed with pure feelings of live, peace and bliss, drugs have no further meaning.