“The problem of Drug addiction has gradually been taken an alarming proportion. Today there are more than 1,00,600 drug addicts in Mumbai alone. Five of them die each day owing to repeated intake of lethal drugs. The parents of nearly all young addicts never imagined that their sons or daughters could fall victims to this dangerous vice. We all know that drug addiction had been evil of the West for a long time.”
Drug addiction is a very complicated and complex illness. It is characterized by compulsive, at times uncontrollable drug craving, seeking, and use that persist even in the face of extremely negative consequences. For many people, drug addiction becomes chronic, with relapses possible even after long periods of abstinence.
Drug addiction begins with the act of taking drugs at a very young age. Over time, a person’s ability to choose not to take drugs can be compromised. Drug-seeking becomes compulsive, in large part as a result of the effects of prolonged drug use on brain functioning and behavior.
What Leads to Drug Addiction?
1. Emotional. Insecurity, Lack of Love: Nobody takes drugs in order to become an addict. They are usually taken n order to escape from problems that are either real or imaginary. Lack of parental love at home, impaired and tense relationships between parents, and dictatorial handling of children have been traced out as significant root causes.
2. Misuse of Money—Lack of Guidance:
Easy availability of and access to money is equally dangerous. They lead to habits such as cigarette-smoking the first step to drug addiction. The next stage, hash-smoking sets in easily. The ‘culture mix’ you belong to, will make you try more and more ‘harmless’ experiments. Lack of proper guidance to the children is also one of the causes of it.
3. Curiosity of Experimentation is the most common cause.
Just to know how does it taste also leads to the beginning.
4. Peer Pressure.
The pressures of Bosses or friends just for the sake of the company also leads to the beginning.
Most drug addicts are male, but there are several girls as co-partner hooked on the drug too. Most girls are persuaded by their boyfriends to try it. Few try it under the pressure of the senior students. The ratio is 1:25.
Drug addiction or the compulsion to use drugs can destroy the individual’s life. Addiction often involves not only compulsive drug taking but also a wide range of abnormal behaviors that can interfere in the family, the workplace, and the broader community. Addiction also can take people towards an increased risk for a wide variety of other illnesses. These illnesses can be brought on by behavior, such as poor living and health habits, that often accompany life as an addict, or because of toxic effects of the drugs themselves.
Because addiction has so many dimensions and disrupts so many aspects of an individual’s life, treatment as such is a long process. Drug treatment must help the individual stop using drugs and maintain a drug-free behavior in lifestyle, while achieving productive functioning in the family, at work, and in society. Effective drug abuse and its treatment programs typically incorporate many components, each directed to a particular aspect of the illness and its consequences.
Three decades of scientific research and clinical practice have yielded a variety of effective approaches to drug addiction treatment. An extensive study revealed that drug addiction treatment is as effective as for most of the other similarly chronic medical conditions. In spite of scientific evidence that establishes the effectiveness of drug abuse treatment, many people believe that treatment is ineffective. In part, this is because of unrealistic expectations. Many people equate addiction with simply using drugs and therefore expect that addiction should be cured quickly, and if it is a riot, treatment is a failure. In reality, because addiction is a chronic disorder, the ultimate goal of long-term abstinence often requires sustained and repeated treatment.
Of course, not all drug abuse treatment is equally effective. Research also has revealed a set of overarching principles that characterize the most effective drug abuse and addiction treatments and their implementation.
There are many addictive drugs and treatments for specific drugs that can differ. Treatment also varies depending on the characteristics of the patient. Problems associated with an individual’s drug addiction can vary significantly. People who are addicted to drugs come from all walks of life. Many suffer from mental health, occupational, health, or social problems that make their addictive disorders much more difficult to treat. Even if there are few associated problems, the severity of addiction itself ranges widely among people.
A variety of scientifically based approaches to drug addiction treatment exists. Drug addiction treatment can include behavioral therapy (such as counseling, cognitive therapy, or psychotherapy), medications, or their combination. Behavioral therapies offer people strategies for coping with their drug cravings, teach them ways to avoid drugs and prevent relapse and help them deal with relapse if it occurs. When a person’s drug-related behavior places him or her at higher risk for AIDS or other infectious diseases, behavioral therapies can help in reducing the risk of disease transmission. Case management and referral to other medical, psychological, and social services are crucial components of treatment for many patients. The best programs provide a combination of therapies and other services to meet the needs of the individual patient which are shaped by such issues as age, race, culture, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy, parenting, housing, and employment as well as physical and sexual abuse.
Drug addiction treatment can include behavioral therapy, medications, or their combination.Treatment medications such as methadone, LAAM, and naltrexone are available for individuals addicted to opiates. Nicotine preparations (patches, gum, nasal spray) and bupropion are available for individuals addicted to nicotine.
The best treatment programs provide a combination of therapies and other services to meet the needs of the individual patient.
Medications such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, or neuroleptics may be critical for treatment success when patients have co-occurring mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, or psychosis.Treatment can occur in a variety of settings, in many different forms, and for different lengths of time. Because drug addiction is typically a chronic disorder characterized by occasional relapses, a short-term, one-time treatment often is not sufficient. For many, treatment is a long-term process that involves multiple interventions and attempts at abstinence.
Nearly all addicted individuals believe in the beginning that they can stop using drugs on their own, and most try to stop without treatment. However, most of these attempts result in failure to achieve long-term abstinence. Research has shown that long-term drug use results in significant changes in brain function that persist long after the individual stops using drugs. These drug-induced changes in brain function may have many behavioral consequences, including the compulsion to use drugs despite adverse consequences, the defining characteristic of addiction.
Long-term drug use results in significant changes in brain function that persist long after the individual stops using drugs. Understanding that addiction has such an important biological component may help explain an individual’s difficulty in achieving and maintaining abstinence without treatment. Psychological stress from work or family problems, social cues (such as meeting individuals from one’s drug-using past), or the environment (such as encountering streets, objects, or even smells associated with drug use) can interact with biological factors to hinder attainment of sustained abstinence and make relapse more likely. Research studies indicate that even the most severely addicted individuals can participate actively in treatment and that active participation is essential to good outcomes.
Increasingly, research is demonstrating that treatment for drug-addicted offenders during and after incarceration can have a significant beneficial effect on future drug use, criminal behavior, and social functioning. The case for integrating drug addiction treatment approaches with the criminal justice system is compelling. Combining prison and community-based treatment for drug-addicted offenders reduces the risk of both recidivism to drug-related criminal behavior and relapse to drug use. For example, a recent study found that prisoners who participated in a therapeutic treatment program in the Delaware State Prison and continued to receive treatment in a work-release program after prison were 70 percent less likely than nonparticipants to return to drug use and incur rearrest.
The majority of offenders involved with the criminal justice system are not in prison but are under community supervision. For those with known drug problems, drug addiction treatment may be recommended or mandated as a condition of probation. Research has demonstrated that individuals who enter treatment under legal pressure have outcomes as favorable as those who enter treatment voluntarily.
The criminal justice system refers drug offenders into treatment through a variety of mechanisms, such as diverting nonviolent offenders to treatment, stipulating treatment as a condition of probation or pretrial release, and convening specialized courts that handle cases for offenses involving drugs. Drug courts, another model, are dedicated to drug offender cases. The mandate and arrange for treatment as an alternative to incarceration, actively monitor progress in treatment and arrange for other services to drug-involved offenders.
The most effective models integrate criminal justice and drug treatment systems and services. Treatment and criminal justice personnel work together on plans and implementation of screening, placement, testing, monitoring, and supervision as well as on the systematic use of sanctions and rewards for drug abusers in the criminal justice system. Treatment for incarcerated drug abusers must include continuing care, monitoring, and supervision after release and during parole.
Many drug addicts such as heroin or cocaine addicts and particularly injection drug users are at increased risk for HIV/AIDS as well as other infectious diseases like hepatitis, tuberculosis, and sexually transmitted infections. For these individuals and the community at large, drug addiction treatment is disease prevention.
Drug injectors who do not enter treatment are up to six times more likely to become infected with HIV than injectors who enter and remain in treatment. Drug users who enter and continue in treatment reduce activities that can spread disease, such as sharing injection equipment and engaging in unprotected sexual activity. Participation in treatment also presents opportunities for screening, counseling, and referral for additional services. The best drug abuse treatment programs provide HIV counseling and offer HIV testing to their patients.
Family and friends can play critical roles in motivating individuals with drug problems to enter and stay in treatment. Family therapy is important, especially, for adolescents. The involvement of a family member in an individual’s treatment program can strengthen and extend the benefits of the program.
More than ever before, India’s future depends on the strength and dynamism of its youth. In a fast-changing world accelerated by new advances in electronic technology, only a dynamic exuberant generation can put India on a strong footing. A strong religious base combined with strong family ties and high morals can help wrench out this evil from our society. Both, preventive and Rehabilitation procedures depend strongly on these factors. Save youth from drugs, save India.