๐Œ๐ž๐ง๐š๐œ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐๐ซ๐ฎ๐  ๐š๐›๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐จ๐ง ๐ฌ๐จ๐œ๐ข๐ž๐ญ๐ฒ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐“๐ซ๐ข๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ซ๐š

Dr. Raju Debbarma

Drug addiction or drug abuse concept

Till the recent few years, the discussion and challenges about drug abuse and addiction was scanty among the general public and authority of the state. However, at present it has become the hot topic in every households and workplaces. As the incursion of drug abuse has become limitless affecting mostly the youngsters and youths of the state. Its consequences affect not only the individual users, but families, communities and the very fabric of society.

Since the past few years, Tripura has become a hot spot destination and transit corridor for drug smuggling and trafficking due to its porous border with Bangladesh, Assam and Mizoram, and its proximity to the Golden Triangle regions of Myanmar (Burma), Laos and Thailand, the hub for drug production and trafficking. This has sparked the spread of drug activities and drug abuse in the state. The deficient of awareness on the subject concerning drug wallop to the masses has also leads to an easy target for drug incursion among the youths of the state by the local drug agents and dealers. The practices of Syringe and needle to push drug fluids into the body have peak-up among the youngsters and youths including students of educational institutions who are becoming an easy prey to drug addiction in the state.

Increase in drug abuse remains an insidious menace that continues to wreak havoc on every community of the society. The grip of addiction leaves a trial of serious health troubles, broken relationships, shattered family and increased anti-social activities. Habituation to drug addiction often erodes performance in education and workplace productivity limiting future prospects and opportunities. Moreover, drug abuse leads to a surge in criminal activities. Desperate to fund for consumption of drug, the addicts usually engaged in property related theft, burglary, illegal drug trading etc., causing a surge in violent crimes rates. Furthermore, drug abuse give rise to mistreat against own parents and neighbours, domestic violence, killing own family members, spouse murder, broken relationships and divorce etc. These cause a gap and strain relationships within the family and relatives disrupting family dynamics and financial hardships. Often the loss of life due to drug abuse affects not only the psychology of the family members but also the communities. And children who grow-up in such unstable environment usually faced harsh situations causing long-lasting physical, emotional, psychological harm and increase vulnerability to drug addiction. These hinder the overall development and prosperity of the affected communities. Drug abuse also jeopardizes physical well-being like organ damage, respiratory problems, impaired immune system, cardiovascular problems, malnutrition and weight loss, increase risk of mental health perturb like anxiety, depression and psychosis besides being diagnosed with HIV/AIDs and hepatitis infections. The transmissible diseases become risky scenario for the society and can further exacerbate the problem on present and future generation. This increase in health crisis could encumbrance additional resources pressure on the hospitals and treatment centres in the wake of demand for addiction treatment services. In recent time, the demand of rehabilitation centres for drug addicts is on the rise in the state, impelling government to spend crores on setting up numbers of drug rehabilitation centres, on healthcare and law enforcement which create a substantial financial burden on societies. If the permeate of drug activities incapacitate earlier, these funds could have been sanction for generating employment and livelihoods opportunities, utilized in education, infrastructure and other development initiatives.

Drug abuse volitionally or unwilling fragmentise the society as it erodes trust, reduces social cohesion and increases the sense of insecurity among the residents of the society. To trim the menace of drug abuse on society requires a comprehensive approach involving prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, education and awareness programs and support services. Addressing the root causes of drug abuse such as poverty, limited employment/livelihood opportunities, unemployment, family problem and pressure, depression, drug addict friends, personal problem etc., can enhance resistances against the allure of drug substances and initiate more resilient society. Communities, governments, law enforcement authority, NGOs, different civil society organizations and healthcare departments must cooperate effectively to combat against the root causes of drug menace on society. Most significant is parents must counsel and act cautiously to deter their children away from drug by guiding them towards fulfilling life. Only through a united approach can society curtail the persistent menace of drug abuse and create a safer, prosperous and drug-free state ahead.

Raju Debbarma, holds PhD degree from the Department of Geography, School of Human and Environmental Sciences, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, India.

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