The word ‘Drugs’, means any chemical substances, natural, or man-made, that influences the body or mind. When doctors talk about drugs, they may mean ‘medicines’ that are used for treating diseases. But today, ‘drugs’, we mean those dangerous intoxicants that, when abused, can destroy rather than cure.
| Drugs Commonly Abused
|TYPE OF DRUG||LOCAL NAME|
|Cannabis||Ganja, Grass, Charas, Bhang, Hashish, Hash Oil|
|Narcotics||Opium, Codeine (Cough Syrups), Morphine, Pethadine , Buprenorphine Pentazocine (Injectable), Heroin, Smack, Brown Sugar (Smoked or chased)|
|Stimulants||Cocaine, Amphetamines, Antidepressants|
|Hallucinogens||LSD, Designer Drugs|
Why do people take drugs :
- curiosity and experimentation
- pressure from friends
- the need to be like the rest of the youngsters
- neglect by elders, unhappiness
- depression, loneliness
- falling prey to drug pushers
- escape from problems
- lack of parental control
- overly strict upbringing
How to recognize drug addiction
Here are some of the signs that should alert you to the possibility that someone may be on drugs (although none in isolation confirm addiction) :-
Behavioral signs :
New or changing friends, Sudden outbursts of anger seemingly for no reason; Poor concentration; Poor memory; Lying, Stealing, Spending a lot; Irregular attendance at school, college, or work; longer time in the toilet; Poor academic or work performance; Droping out from school, college, or not going to work; Lack of interest in hobbies etc.
Physical signs :
Tiredness; Restlessness; Glassy eyes; Blank facial expression; Pin point pupils; Drooping eyelids; dark circles under the eyes; Changes in sleep and appetite; Neglect of personal hygiene; Burnt fingertips and holes in clothing ; Needle marks.
The presence of any unfamiliar Powders, candle, foil, capsules, ‘pudi’ and stained coins will mean that someone has been taking drugs.
Taking drugs just once, is taking a step towards addiction. Even once is enough to create a need to have them a second time. Very rapidly, the body needs more and more doses, or stronger doses, to achieve the initial effect.
Why treat drug addiction :
Drug addiction, if left unchecked, is no temporary thing. In time, it will completely destroy a person, both physically and mentally. No longer able to live without the drugs – which are difficult and expensive to obtain, because they are illegal – the person loses touch with reality. Family, friends, studies, jobs, the future…all cease to matter. Physically, the body becomes a wreck, The person become open to many diseases, the most dreaded among them, AIDS. AIDS can be contracted from sharing needles while injecting drugs, promiscuous behavior to obtain drug or after taking drugs. Life threatening hepatitis is another danger. The person becomes a host to numerous infections with his strength slowly getting depleted.
TREATMENT OF DRUG ADDICTION
Drug addiction is now thought of as a disease The treatment is basically in two phases, carried out by a psychiatrist with help from a psychologist and in cases where there is serious bodily damage and other diseases, other medical specialists.
The initial treatment involves de-toxification (which depending on the drug and the quantity taken may or may not require hospitalization, but requires supervision) – getting the drug out of the person’s system. Medication is given to help the person through the painful, withdrawal symptoms that come from stopping drugs. The medication should not be given or taken indefinitely and not as a substitute for drugs. The psychiatrist may also begin a treatment programme using medication which create aversion to the drugs or prevent further use. Medical treatment for any other medical problems, and a proper diet are also looked into. Counseling and Psychotherapy are very essential as this will help the person to deal with the pressure and tensions that drove him towards drugs in the first place. After care is the most important part of the treatment to make sure that the person does not go back to taking drugs the moment stress becomes high. Addication is a ‘relapsing condition’ and the task is treatment of preatment, rehabilitation, and relapse prevention.
PREVENTING DRUG ABUSE
Prevention is better than cure. Here are some things you can do to prevent your children, or other people you are close to, from becoming addicts
- Give your children your love, guidance and support.
- Do everything you can to increase your children’ confidence in themselves – allow them to learn things and do them on their own instead of over-protecting them. Don’t make your love dependent on the marks they get but praise them for things well done.
- Be frank and honest with your children and encourage the same attitude from them. Make them feel that they can approach you with their personal problems without being afraid of strong, unpleasant reactions.
- Give your children a feeling of security and stability through family bonds.
- Encourage participation in games and healthy activities.
- Help your children make decisions in a period of crisis.
- Be aware of who your children’s friends are.
- Find out about drugs and educate your children.
Set an example by not using drugs/alcohol/tobacco