Some days ago, while scrolling down my Facebook account, I came across a very distressing post. The post said that a 10-year-old boy was brought to a drug de-addiction centre by his father in Kashmir.
I don’t know why but I did not react to the said post at that time so I don’t remember the source of the post now. I also can’t confirm the authenticity and credibility of that post.
But I can surely affirm that I didn’t sleep well that night. The thought of a ten-year-old boy being in a drug de-addiction centre made me anxious.
Next morning, I woke up to look for the source of that post and check its’ credibility. While doing that, I came across another upsetting post.
This time the post was a study report prepared a few years ago by United Nations, Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) which put the number of drug addicts in Kashmir division to around 70,000. Astonishingly, among the total number of drug addicts, 31% were women. Another report by Government Psychiatric Hospital Srinagar confirmed that around 90% drug abusers belong to the age group of 17-35.
These reports put together with that Facebook post left me wondering how many people around me would be drug addicts? More than that why are these people involved in abuse left me almost clueless for an answer.
For next few days, I learnt a lot from internet about some much talked about reasons behind drug addiction. Prominent among them are depression, anxiety and peer pressure. Stress especially plays a significant role in driving people mostly teenagers and youths to drugs.
The high number put forth by United Nations, Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) should not astound anyone in wake of growing mental stress over last three decades in strife-torn Kashmir.
A few useful tips
I don’t want to go in details behind drug addiction. Instead, I want to share some tips with all the boys and girls of my age who are druggies or potential druggies. These tips are the outcome of my keen observation that I did on both druggies and non-druggies. I tried to follow the routine of a druggie and then tried to match that with the routine of a non-druggie.
The result are the tips that can be used to stay away from drugs.
The first thing that I noticed was the people they hang out with. It is well said that better alone than in bad company. A druggie will make you a druggie no matter how hard you try to stay away from drugs. It is like entering a room of charcoal wearing a white dress and expecting no stains on your dress. So, it is important to revisit your friend list (not only on social media) and unfriend those who directly or indirectly are involved in any kind of abuse. This could be hard because even your best friend could be a druggie.
Now with a short friend circle you might have extra free time at your disposal. Develop a hobby for that free time. I would recommend to develop a hobby for reading and writing. Staying busy with your hobby will reduce the chances of you being exposed to drugs via any friend or foe. I have observed that druggies don’t have hobbies and someone with a hobby is never a druggie.
Another tip is that you should hit the gym regularly. If you can’t do that at least be a fitness freak. Do exercises at home and go for a long walk daily. This will be good for the body and mind. As your physical health improves, you will also experience the natural high of endorphins, which can elevate your mood. It reduces stress and anxiety. You will also agree with me that people who are high on life and who prioritise fitness will never be high on any drug.
As mentioned earlier peer pressure is a big reason for this menace. And how not to succumb to this pressure is a million-dollar question. This final tip which is an answer to the previous question is actually for parents. I have observed that boys and girls of well to do families mostly fall in the drug trap. Wealthy parents out of love give their children money more than they need without any inspection. These parents never ask their children how did they spend that money. Children ask for more and parents provide them even without a second through. That money is mostly being used for drugs. So, parents should spare a moment from their busy schedule and keep an eye on their children and on the money they give them.
Those who are already drug addicts have a much tough task at hand. Recovery from drug addiction is hard and there is no shame in asking for extra help from a medical professional whenever you need it. One can always consult a medical expert and behavioural therapist for help.
I hope you find these tips based on certain assesment helpful in staying away from the abuse
Finally, I request everyone not to ruin his or her life by indulging in this growing menace.
(12th class student Salma is an aspiring writer).