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DRUG ADDICTS ARE NOT CRIMINALS

Drug addiction, a disease that affects the brain and behaviour of an individual. It's a stage where an individual cannot resist the partake of substances. Drugs cause physical & psychological harm that is mostly beyond repair. The struggle of addicts is real and the cure is unavailable.

Drug users generally fall into the trap of drug addiction. Addicts act on the edge of constant ambivalence. They have a desire to recover but they certainly can't stop getting high. The harmful substances used by these addicts may be legal like smoking, prescribed medicines, alcohol, etc, or illegal such as cocaine or heroin.

DRUG USE IN INDIA

In India, 1.18 Crore people use sedatives and Inhalants. As a result excessive overdosing of drugs, 4.6 Lakh Children and 18 lakh adults need help. Over 8.5 Lakh People inject drugs into themselves and are addicted. 27% of drug addicts share their needle, risking their life to disease like HIV.

According to the National drug dependence treatment center, the most commonly injected drugs are Heroin followed by Pharmaceutical Opioids. These extremely addictive drugs can cause serious harm to the body, including brain damage, infection, and chronic medical conditions.According to prevalence of substance abuse and access to drugs, approximately 272 districts have been listed as vulnerable. In order to fight against this challenge of drug use, the government in 2020-21 will be focussing on building treatment and de-addiction facilities in the vulnerable areas.The national drug de-addiction helpline this year witnessed a huge spike in calls between April to June. Over 9400 calls were recorded in two months and were marked as the highest call records post lockdown.

Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat lead the list with more than half of the people consuming drugs & alcohol.

DECRIMINALISATION & LEGALISATION OF DRUGS

Decriminalisation, the act of ceasing the rights to treat something as illegal or as a criminal offence. The objective is to provide users with a more humane treatment.The discussion on legalization of drugs has gained tremendous importance in the recent past. Many eminent personalities have come up with suggestions of legalizing drugs in India.

Over the past several years, drug abuse has increased. It has become a tool of business for crime organizations and bureaucracies, used to transform drug addiction into a profit through the passage of countless laws against drug abuse.

PROS & CONS

Marijuana is amongst the most widely used illegal drugs in the world. There are approximately 120 million people who consume drugs in some form or the other.

Although, the World Health Organization has listed a number of diseases associated with the consumption of marijuana, including impairment in cognitive functioning, airway injury, bronchitis and lung inflammation but it has got a positive impact as well says the organisation. Several studies have demonstrated its therapeutic effects to treat diseases such as cancer, AIDS, asthma and glaucoma. It is still being investigated for its medical usage.

India has a history associated with these drugs since times immemorial with a mythical faith attached to it. India has celebrated the use and also consumed drugs like Charas which is hash, Bhang and Weed for festivals as well. It is said to be a drug that helps the user attain "ecstasy in the original sense of the word".

A WAY FORWARD

According to reports published by India's Ministry of Social Justice and UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Millions of Indians are dependent on alcohol, cannabis, and opiates. Drug misuse is a pervasive phenomenon in the Indian society.

Back in the year 1985, when the civil society members paid attention to this challenge, the law came into the picture in association with social justice & welfare. Ultimately, Rehabilitation centers were built to create new and sober lives.But unfortunately due to lack of high end facilities in India, the desire to enter the room of improvement- Rehab flies away as quickly as it comes in one's thoughts.

Rehabs are places built to create new and sober lives. It's not a place to torture somebody who is already mentally unstable. A proper management with humane treatment is needed. Addicts act on the edge of constant ambivalence. They want to recover but they also don't want to stop getting high. The plight of drug addicts is terrific and therefore, the approach has to be empathetic rather than discriminatory.

There is a beautiful life that lies beyond the bottles, powders, and drugs but coming out of this vicious circle is a challenge. As a society If we start treating people like criminals then we are not a humane society. People who fall into the traps of drug addiction need to be treated with love not with hatred and cruelty.

The approach needs to be empathetic rather than discriminatory.


Riddhima Kedia

Riddhima Kedia

News Junkie and National Soccer Player


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