By Swap Dutta Deka
Addiction—‘Nisha’! If we observe, all of us can see, people want to be in a half asleep mode…be it physically…be it mentally or in both. People want to forget themselves…want to have fun…take ‘maza’ of life and yes! Everyone is in search of love…everybody is hankering after peace. What a paradoxical situation…! People want to go away from reality, want to have an artificial life. What’s wrong with us? It is a fact that the negative forces of the society spreading drugs for their own benefit. Of course there is a demand side and a supply side of the issue. The geographical position of our state is very crucial. In one side very near to us, there is the Golden Triangle (Thailand, Myanmar and Laos) and in the other side, though little far, there is Red Crescent (Afghanistan, Pakistan). Assam is the transit route for the whole country from the Golden Triangle side. So delicately we are positioned. We can perhaps never hope for complete stoppage of supply chain. On supply side there are other aspects, like cultivation of opium poppy and canbis in some districts of the State, foot hills of Bhutan, in Aruchal Pradesh and Manipur. Drugs are prepared from tural sources as well as chemical sources. Both the fields involve huge money and power. People from all the fields are involved in the game…from daily wage earners to big politicians.
Now, if we forget about supply side for a while, then first of all we will have to agree that, demand will always be created by the suppliers and that too in an underground way…since the products are illegal. Oh! The story of the forbidden fruit again! Like our very own Eve, people are to it and yes...they have to taste it at least once! What is the human age of high curiosity? The adolescence…so they catch them…give them free…if one has tasted even once or twice, body chemicals have got already influenced…One has already entered into the trap… ones’ feelings, ones’ needs, ones’ cravings have got already influenced… Those ones will be offered free of cost twice, thrice,… thereafter the actual story begins…they will start living a dual life, they will hide many things, they will first ask for money and gradually start stealing and the story goes on…this is the story of adolescents stepping into it, irrespective of fincial condition, rural or urban.
Knowingly or unknowingly one may step into drugs. But is it only because it is forbidden? (If we alyze the reasons, there will be a long list which includes loneliness, depression, work pressure, difficult job condition, unemployment, poverty, drawbacks in education system, role of social media, unhealthy parental pressure, peer pressure etc). No, many amongst them will describe how it feels. How he could forget all his sorrow of being unsuccessful in some area with the help of it. Another may explain how it helps to overcome the trauma of breakup with girl friend. Some may say, it is just like medicine…some will mark it as status symbol by way of doing dance party along with ‘Nisha’ in pubs…some will attach it to some celebrity and way of enjoyment of their status,…some will try to link it to creativity…some will attach it to god… A significant number of illicit drug users regarded themselves as progressive citizens and reject materialism, consumerism and conformist behavior and is prevalent among the socialist class. Again, poor middle aged people who can’t afford to feed their children can find way to have ‘Nisha’.
What effects drugs have? In short term it has the effect of euphoria, thought process impairment, drowsiness, apathy and feeling of hunger and pain are not felt. During long term mood instability, reduced libido, constipation, respiratory impairments and physical deterioration are experienced.
Females experience menstrual irregularity, fetal addiction and abnormality in case of pregnt women. In different stages effects are different, like, feeling unpleasantness, aches and pains over the body, diarrhea and insomnia. Overdose of some drugs can cause convulsions, coma and death. Among injecting drug users, there is prevalence of HIV, Hepatitis-B and Hepatitis-C.
So, apparently in most of the time, the story starts from need to forget something. Sometimes it is grief, sometimes physical pain, sometimes failure and sometimes nothing but poverty.
Is reality so crude that people want to run away or if not possible, want to hideout from it? Yes, at this point comes the government intervention. Our country has been fighting poverty for a long time. Government has been trying to educate people, so that people can differentiate between right and wrong on their own. It has been trying to improve health and of life of the people as well. Why only me government? All enlightened people through their service hitting the same goal. All art forms also contributing to the same effort. Regarding awareness against drug abuse, if we want to me some individual effort, then we must me Yusuf Qasmi of Mumbai, who has been doing street play at the interior areas of drug peddlers for last 30 years against drug abuse and trafficking, risking his life. But it is a reality that people are running away from life. Sometime somewhere we got disconnected from ourselves. We started unloving ourselves. While discussing regulatory measures, it was stated about Section 46 and 47 of rcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 and Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in rcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act (under which it is our duty to inform about illicit cultivation). It has come to the light that the coordition and cooperation required to control such crimil activities, perhaps at some point we are lacking that too. Parents/guardians don’t pay attention to changed behavior of their children. Teachers don’t have communication with students outside the classroom. People living in the society are not bothered what is happening in the neighborhood. Young people are confined to their peer group.
Parents don’t own their children. Teachers don’t own their students. Society doesn’t own anything…individuals are limited to own self. Husband and wife don’t know about each other’s life.
From preventing stepping in to addiction to treating the addicts and then to rehabilitation, it is a long way, where awareness at all levels plays a crucial role.
Cooperation and coordition starting from our door steps to tiol and intertiol level is a major challenge for the people working for the cause. If we try to get rid of responsibility by pointing out finger to the corrupt aspect of the system alone, one finger will automatically to be pointed to ourselves as well. (Of course no one can deny presence of corruption anywhere.) World of drugs is an underlying parallel society. Information about such crimil activities will have to come from the society itself. Of course, all agencies have their own formal or informal intelligence mechanism. But had the ownership feeling prevailed in society, situations would have improved further. In addition to it, many other parameters, we also assess performance by way of seizure of drugs like heroin, opium, canbis, hashish, cocaine etc., which are consumed by different way like injection, inhalation, chasing, smoking, snorting and so on. Sniffing of petrol, glue, paint thinner, kerosene and xerox and paper correction solutions are common way of abuse. Somewhere somehow we missed the link. Ownership is now like a sinking ship, which may take all along with to be drowned, if not collectively tried to save from drowning.
Ownership: A Sinking Ship
By Swap Dutta Deka