In 1987, the United Nations General Assembly decided that 26th June every year be observed as International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. This special day sees campaigns organised to raise awareness about the problem of drug abuse and drug trade. The purpose is to strengthen action and cooperation in achieving a drug abuse-free society. This year’s theme is “Addressing drug challenges in health and humanitarian crises”.
Drugs mean death. As soon as a person begins to consume them, his or her precious life is consumed. Heroin abuse is so dangerous that it changes the chemical composition of the brain. Drug abuse refers to the use of toxic or banned drugs or to the inappropriate use of a legal drug or substance, such as opioids (poppy straw), heroin, morphine, cannabis (bhang), prescription drugs, or inhalants (paints, glues, sprays, ink fluid).
All medications are drugs but all drugs are not medications. Drug addiction is a complex brain disease. Its prevention effectively requires understanding of the biological, genetic, social, psychological, religious and environmental factors that predispose individuals to drug addiction.
Drug abuse becomes drug addiction with the first use of drug. Drug addiction is on rise in J&K especially in the Kashmir valley. One survey revealed that most of the abusers are between 18 years and 35 years of age. There are many reasons behind this rise, such as drug cultivation, lack of awareness, easy availability, greed to become rich, and peer pressure. The consumption of products made from poppy and bhang has become rampant and has increased physical, mental as well as economic illnesses. This in turn is responsible for increase in crimes, moral degradation, lesser participation in productive activities, etc.
All major religions of the world discourage bhang, wine, alcohol, gambling and other addictives and intoxicants. Islam not only discourages them all but prohibits the use of even small quantities. As per the teachings of the Holy Qur’an, “He makes lawful to them all the good things and forbids them from all vicious things” (7:157).
Drugs such as marijuana, heroine, cannabis (charas), cocaine, opium, and the like are included in the prohibited category. It is well known that the use of such drugs affects the sensory perceptions. The prevalent moral insensitivity, weakening of will power, and negligence of responsibilities are dreadful results of drug addiction. Moreover, Injection Drug Users (IDUs) are at higher risk of contracting HIV. Similarly, Hepatitis B and C are much more common among drugs-addicted people.
In short, every individual, especially religious preachers, teachers, police, judiciary, masjid or welfare committees must play their role towards the eradication of this menace. Keeping in view the horrendous consequences of drug addiction, let us try end this menace and save the best brains of our society.
The writer belongs to Tral. [email protected]