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21 Apr 2024, Edition - 3204, Sunday

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The menace called drugs

Indrani Thakurata


Bengaluru: Movies have a strange power to uplift, underline and draw attention to causes and menaces that are known to people but often relegated to the background. Drug addiction is a known menace but the way Udta Punjab brought it to the forefront,making it a drawing room conversation is applause worthy. But it didn’t happen smoothly, a fight from the producers made sure it saw the light of the day. Apparently, CBFC Chairman Pahlaj Nihalani wanted Punjab to be dropped from the title, also he was uncomfortable with such open content on drug addiction. But the truth is, Punjab is fighting the drug menace that has infiltrated the lives of the youngsters. Not restricted to Punjab, a recent news also claimed recovery of nearly 66.6 Kg of heroin and brown sugar from a truck that came from POK. The reports claim a rise in drug abuse in Kashmir. “Kashmir is a troubled state. And not much is being done about it. imagine the life of a common Kashmiri, it is miserable. “The environment plays a huge role in initiating any kind of addiction,” says Anuja Kapur, Criminal Psychologist. following up the same, Namrata Dagia, Clinical Psychologist & Hypnotherapist. Founder, The Illuminating Zone says, ” People get into drug abuse for several reasons. One of them being peer pressure. Also if there is someone in family or a role model, such negative behaviours tend to be imitated. Drug abuse is also high in people who are emotionally unresolved of going through a period of stress. In teen-agers it could be a sign of status.”

Explaining this, Anuja Kapur says, “If you down and low, if you are lost, lonely–then you are vulnerable to vices such as these, because they promise you temporary relief and high.”

People misunderstand addiction as a personality flaw, which it isn’t. It is a brain disorder, whereby addict is seeking relief from a physical, mental or emotional pain or seeking pure enjoyment. “Most kids in the urban milieu don’t realise what it is till it hits them. Some try it as an adventure and then fall prey to it and some deem it as cool. But the truth is, once they realise their folly or moment of weakness, they want help,” says Rajmeena K, a mother who helped her son out of drug addiction. She recalls, “My son was invited to a rave party. It was there that he got introduced to drugs.During the last one year, before he seeked help, he was selling his stuff to procure drugs. And from that condition, I helped him come out with the help of psychologists. Drug peddlers are always looking for people who they could influence. And that is exactly why we need stricter laws here like many other countries. Look at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other gulf countries, where capital punishment of beheading is awarded and executed, if found involved even for the first time, in any act of possessing, using, manufacturing, supplying, or transporting them. But here we aren’t that strict.”

Recognising and giving the right help to an addict is the only way to treat. But in our society, we tend to stigmatise addicts and addictions. “If the case of drug abuse is severe, rehabilitation services are essential. Once the addiction comes under little control, intervention of cognitive and behavioural therapies; which focus on altering the irrational thoughts and maladaptive behaviours can be helpful . Also, a couple of sessions with family members which involves insight in the patient’s life and some psychoeducation is effective,” concludes Namrata.

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