Modern era is full of challenges but there are three Ds that may prove to be the worst enemies of us.
First D: Depression
Depression doesn’t spring from simply having too much or too little of certain brain chemicals. Rather, there are many causes of it, including genetic vulnerability, stressful life events, medications, and psychological problems. It’s often said that depression results from a chemical imbalance, but that doesn’t capture how complex the disease is. To be sure, chemicals are involved in this process, but it is not a simple matter of one chemical being too low and another too high. Many chemicals are involved, working both inside and outside nerve cells. There are millions, even billions, of chemical reactions that make up the dynamic system that is responsible for mood, perceptions, and how one experiences life.
With this level of complexity, you can see how two people might have similar symptoms of depression, but the problem is on the inside, and therefore what treatments will work best may be entirely different.
Second D: Drugs
The comorbidity of drug abuse with depression is well established and has important therapeutic and prognostic implications. Although there is significant understanding of the environmental and neurobiological factors involved in depression and drug addiction considered separately, the mechanisms underlying comorbidity are not well understood. It is likely that the high prevalence of co-occurrence of these two disorders reflects, in part, overlapping environmental, genetic, and neurobiological factors. It is also possible that there will be differences in the neurobiology of comorbidity depending on the temporal course of its development (i.e., depression followed by drug abuse versus drug abuse followed by depression). It is possible that in the former, drugs are used in attempts to self-medicate the depressive state, whereas in the latter it is possible that early exposure to chronic drugs of abuse might lead to neurobiological changes that increase the risk of depression.
Narcotic drugs are psychotropic products which produce feelings of pleasure, strength, and superiority, reduce hunger and lessen inhibitions. Opium, marijuana, heroin (smack), morphine, pethidine, cocaine and cannabis forms such as charas, ganja and bhang are all narcotics. They are smoked, sniffed or injected. Hallucinogens, as the name suggests, produce distortion of perception, example LSDs. Cigarettes, bidis, cigars, snuffs, tobacco and nicotine are substances the frequent use of which can cause heart attack, lung cancer, or bronchitis.
Drug abuse or substantial abuse first starts affecting the nerve system. Secondly, relationships are torn apart and families are broken. Drug addiction can lead to job loss and financial hardships. When you are addicted to drugs, nothing else matters in life and all you think about is the next high. Responsibilities and important events are forgotten and the activities you once enjoyed are no longer of interest.
The brain controls all functions of the body such as walking, talking, thinking, and feeling. The brain also controls the organs in the body. When you use drugs, your brain’s communication to your body is disrupted. The brain’s neurotransmitters are responsible for delivering messages throughout your body. When you use drugs, your brain becomes physically dependent on the drugs to function. Withdrawal symptoms from drugs make you severely sick and your risk of relapse drastically increases.
Drugs affect physical, emotional, and mental health. Drug use causes heart complications and can result in cardiac arrest or heart disease. Drugs affect breathing and can lead to serious lung infections. When you use drugs, you heighten the possibility of irreversible brain damage. Other health problems include depression, anxiety, seizures, overdose, and death.
Third D: Driving
When a depressed or drug addicted person drives a vehicle, in both the cases his brain does not work properly. Someone getting killed while driving in such a state is akin to suicide. We have lost a large number of lives in road accidents but accidents continue to happen even more frequently. Some parents are also to blame for providing motor vehicles even to minors and to those who are without a driving license.
If even a store keeper does not provide ration to persons who do not possess an Aadhar card, then how can a car be provided to someone who has not a driving license? I ask parents: have you given up your responsibility towards both your child and your society?
For God’s sake, prevent the tragedies that can be prevented. We have already lost a generation to bullets and we don’t want to lose another to drugs and road accidents. The blood of our youth is for donation in hospitals, not to be spilled on roads.
—The writer is a Law student at Central University of Kashmir. [email protected]