Is it possible to create a Drug-free future?

M.S.M. Mumtaz

Drugs are one of the main causes of violence in society. It is also about misleading young people. A healthy society can only be created by eliminating drugs. But as drug use is systematically passed on to young people, eliminating it can be a challenge. If we do not face this challenge now, a dangerous future lies ahead.

Drugs include heroin, ethanol injection, cannabis, tobacco, paan-masala, narcotics inhalers, alcohol and many more. One billion people in the world are addicted to it, according to one source. Drugs affect all types of individuals, family and community. In addition, studies show that young people between the ages of 13 and 15 are the most susceptible to this habit. Therefore, everyone has a responsibility to act immediately and protect the younger generation.

Many talented people in society are being lost due to the current drug addiction which is prevalent among the youth. Drug abuse not only degrades society but also paralyzes the youth who are supposed to be the backbone of a country’s development. If this situation continues, it will be left with no future leaders.

Drug use is on the rise in public places as well. Drug abuse is on the rise at parties, feasts, sports events, birthday parties, and friends get-to-gather to the extent that it has gone out of control, and the activities and practices among the youth have worsened this situation.

What are the side effects of drug addiction and how to redeem addicts from it? With these questions, we approached Dr.A.S.M. Safran. He responded to these based on his experience;

“The patient came in with symptoms of hand shivering, sweating, cold, and palpitations. What’s the problem? I asked. He said he had been using drugs such as alcohol since his school days. Later, when he was examined clinically, I was able to observe the loss of weight, loss of hair, abnormal heartbeat, and restlessness.

Drug addicts are treated by psychiatrists. I did the same to the patient who came to me. We also normally prescribe medications to reduce stress. We will then refer such a person to a psychiatrist for further treatment. The psychiatrist will carry out further investigation and prescribe treatment knowing the full details of the patients.

Treatments are offered in two ways. One, the provision of treatment with drugs. There are different drugs for each type of addiction. The effects of the addiction can be reduced within a period of time by administering these medicinal drugs. The other is the provision of psychological treatment. That is, creating an environment where drugs are not accessible. Stay away from friends who are drug addicts. By providing other activities during leisure time through this the effect on patients suffering from drug addiction can be partially eliminated. This is what psychiatrists do,” explained Dr. A.S.M. Safran.

One who is aware of the effects of drug use will stay out of its grip. One must be careful that it destroys the self and those who are around. Drug use is self-inflicting harm. This habit can cause a person to intoxicate. One who is addicted to drugs will lose the respect in the family that will lead to deprivation and the loss of social dignity.

It causes family breakdown and frustration in life. Divisions between spouses can lead to massive divorce problems. Furthermore, drug abuse can lead to loss of social status, change in self-identity, and frustration in life.

Drug use is also one of the root causes of students’ educational backwardness. Boys and youth become addicted to drugs during the student-hood, which is a challenge they face more and more nowadays. Mainly learn this bad practice from older brothers. This makes their future situation worrisome. Moreover, today the use of these dangerous drugs is one of the causes of the increase in suicides, divorces, and divisions.

Planned action is needed to control drug abuse and to redeem the addicts from it. We need to find the youth addicted to drugs and organize an awareness program to save them from the dangers and harms of drugs.

Parents have a greater responsibility in this regard. Mothers and fathers should monitor the activities and behavior of their children at home. It should be the parents’ job to visit the rooms on a daily basis, even if the room is reserved for them. Such surveillance can prevent young people from turning to drugs at the initial stage even though they have already become a victim to it.

As well as the responsibility to the family and the community, measures are needed to prevent this by law, The activities of law enforcement authorities are also important in creating a drug free society. When we contacted an officer of the Narcotics Division of a police, he provided some important information:

He was referring to legal action and penalties for drug offenses. “If someone is involved in riots and harasses others as a result of drug usage, he can be arrested and produced in court. Person can also be arrested and produced in court for selling or possessing narcotics. The driver and the vehicle used to transport the drugs can also be arrested and produced in court,” he said.

A person who sells drugs can be sentenced to six months imprisonment under Section 51 of the Penal Code. A fine of between Rs 50,000 and Rs 150,000 will be imposed on a person who possesses less than two grams of narcotics. If it weighs more than two grams, the severe punishment will be meted out by a judge in the High Court. And a fine of twenty-five thousand rupees for driving under the influence of drugs. The driver’s license will also be suspended for a period of three months. These are punishments related to drug offences,” he said.

Addiction cannot be considered as a habit that only affects the individual; it affects the society around him. Now its impact has spread among young women as well. Drug abuse at school age can ruin one’s studies and ruin the studies of colleagues. Little by little the addiction increases and the addicted person starts stealing and lying to get that petty pleasure and even if it is indecent work, there is a tendency to dare to do it. Those drug addicts fearlessly engage in sexual offenses and thereby cause many diseases. It is our society that suffers from such addiction. Drug abuse must be completely eradicated and the younger generation must grow and prosper. The victim may be an individual. But the result will be the devastation of society as a whole.

It is an undeniable fact that our society is deteriorating due to drug abuse. Addicts lose their lives and the lives of those who depend on them are thrown into the abyss. It is everyone’s duty to protect us, our relatives and our future community. We must act as a good citizen today to dedicate ourselves to the country and our future. By doing so, a drug-free society can be created.

The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Sri Lanka Press Institute.

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