Generally, the masses hate drugs and dislike drug users.
But there are certain wicked persons who spend time, energy and money in promoting misuse of drugs.
According to world health organization (WHO, 1966), drug is any substance or product that is intended to be used to modify or explore physiological and pathological state for the benefit of the recipient.
Drugs are generally used as medicines to help the patient to treat mental illness, loss of sleep (insomnia) and so on. Drug abuse involves impairment of health, when the drug is taken in excessive amount, concentration and frequency.
The drug addiction is due to prolonged and repeated consumption on a periodic basis leading to functional dependence of an individual.
Intake of harmful drugs increases hazards and potential weather. Such chemical substances are never legal and are beyond the prescription of physicians.
The misuse of drugs dates back to about 10000 years but it has increased enormously in the late twentieth century. It is astonishing to observe that addicts sometimes, consume dirty substances like iodex, shoe polish, methylated spirit, gutka, facidryll, lorazipalm, draniadol, buprenorphine, fortwin, carisoprodol, lizard skin etc.
Commonly abused drugs include opiates, cannabinoids, stimulants, cocaine, LSD, alcohol, narcotics, crack etc. These are mostly obtained from plants and fungi. A few drugs are semi-synthetic and synthetic.
Opium is the dried, brown colored latex of unripe capsule fruit of poppy plant (Papaver somniferum). It is narcotic, analgesic, astringent (causes contraction of body parts) and sedative (causing pain relief and promote sleep). Its main alkaloids are Morphine and Codeine. Heroin and smacks produced through acetylation (Diacetyl morphine). It is highly addictive, most dangerous and potent morphine.
It causes lethargy, indigestion, reduced vision and body weight, loss of potency and work. It costlier than gold but even them the addict damages their health by becoming used to it. Gold ornaments are used for decoration, whereas, drugs lead to deterioration and devastation. Smack or Brown sugar is crude form of heroin. Its vapors are inhaled by the addicts in western countries.
Natural Cannabinoids are obtained from young flowers of hemp plant (Cannabis sativa). These are more harmful when taken with alcohol.
It is obtained from fresh and dried leaves of both male and female plants. In certain parts of India it is taken with preparation of bread toasts, parontha, tikki, pakora and sardai.
It is smoked with cigarettes and is obtained from groups of young flowers of female plants. These create mental derangement and illusions.
it is resin extract from flower tops and leave of the plant. It is more potent and generally smoked with tobacco.
It causes psychosis (mental derangement and retardation) when smoked. It is obtained from dried flowers and top leaves of female plants.
(Caffeine, cocaine, amphetamines) these products temporarily activate the nervous system. Their sudden withdrawal leads to depression, anxiety, loss of sleep and restlessness. Caffeine is obtained from tea leaves and roasted beans of coffee and cocoa leaves.
Cocaine is bitter, white, crystalline powder which is sometimes called snow, sniff, crack, Big-S or coke princess. It is smoked, inhaled or injected by addicts. Its overdose caused loss of appetite, severe headache, convulsions, mental disorders (hallucinations) and respiratory or cardiac failures.
Dhatura and Belladona also cause hallucinations, illusions, delusions etc.
Amphetamine is synthetic stimulant (also called pep pill, sleep upper or anti sleep drug) it is included in dope test for athletes because it retains the fatigue of athletes. Higher doses cause euphoria mental confusions and sleeplessness,
Sedative – Hypnotics
Barbiturates are generally produced through combinations of melonic acid and malonyl urea.
These are depressants and continuous abuse causes permanent brain damage, muscular twitching, coma, epilepsy etc.
Benzodiazepines are group of chemicals considered as anti-anxiety drugs. These are generally used for patients to induce sleep and relieve pain. But their use of should be within limits, time bound and as per prescription of physicians.
LSD (lysergic Acid Diethyl-amides) is a crystalline alkaloid obtained from fruit body of ergot (fungus) which is a parasite on rye-plant. Its misuse causes horrible dreams, emotional outburst, psychosis and severe damage to brain.
Alkaloid nicotine is present in tobacco leaves which are bitter, highly poisonous, heart stimulants and habit promoting drug. People use tobacco in smoking through cigars, cigarettes pipes, bidies and hubble-bubble (Hukka).
Sniffing involves direct intake of tobacco powder through nose. Chewing of tobacco with ‘Paan’ or placing it in-between lips and gums (along with lime powder), this mis-use may lead to severe cough; lip, throat and lung cancer. In pregnant women, nicotine causes slow and abnormal growth of developing baby.
It is in the form ethyl alcohol produced through fermentation of sugar or fruit juice. Commercial products may be beer, zin, whisky, rum, brandy, vodka and many more depending upon the source and type of fermenting microbes.
Alcohol is mainly use as preservative and organic solvent. People generally do not include it in the category of drugs but it dangerous and highly addictive chemical.
How drug addiction starts?
1. Social pressure from certain friends and relatives.
2. Overcome the state of depression, low self-esteem, failures and frustrations, (un-employment, financial problems, loss in business etc).
3. Curiosity and excitement due to unwanted desire (to know the effects of certain substances).
4. Looking for a different world.
5. Desire to work for a long period.
6. To relieve pain and chronic illness.
7. Easy approach and availability of drugs.
8. Enjoy in merriments on certain occasions of celebration.
9. Take overdose of sleeping pills for long rest.
10. Desire to defy elders and friends.
11. Unhappy and disturbed family life.
12. Seeking a feeling of independence.
13. Offset the monotony of routine life.
14. Stress and compulsion through Drug Mafia.
15. Drugs themselves promote to increase the frequency and concentration of drug intake.
Effects of Drugs
Mis-use of drugs is a social stigma which brings multifarious evil effect on personal health and family life.
1. Promote aging effects like early baldness, graying of hairs and appearance of wrinkles on body.
2. Cause-Indigestion, hyper acidity, vomiting, diarrhoea etc.
3. Generally decrease rate of breathing.
4. Stimulants tend to increase the rate of breathing and heartbeat for a short period but overall these also cause depressing effects.
5. Anemia, temporary increase in size of red blood cells, reduction in the number of white blood cells, decrease in immunity.
6. Promote defects in functions of liver and kidney (Diuresis).
7. Oligospermia, decrease in size of testicles, cause impotency. Desire to get involved in sex may increase (particularly through alcoholism) but unable to perform.
8. Reduce fertility in women and acquire early menopause.
9. Create hormonal imbalance, increase in cortisol, and decrease in thyroxine, vasopressin and testosterone.
10. Cause muscular weakness, cramps and even epilepsy.
11. Become cause of anxiety, tension, depression, illusions etc.
12. Loss of body balance, alcoholic dementia, increases chances of hemorrhage (Bleeding).
13. Cause accidents during driving, swimming or use of industrial and electrical appliances.
14. May suffer from AIDS, Hepatitis-B etc. due to infected intravenous injections.
15. Continuous abuse of narcotics and stimulants cause chromosomal damages and production of abnormal babies.
16. Promote various forms of cancer.
17. Ill-effects on family life are due to disturbed atmosphere, quarrelsome/violent attitude, and extreme situation of poverty, bad motivation for children, unclean and foul smell in home.
18. The society suffers due to violence, accidents, increase in corruption, bribery, cheating, theft etc.
Prevention and Control
Tobacco, drugs and alcohol abuse are more common during adolescence; therefore, remedial measures should be taken well in time. Parents, teachers and friends have special responsibility on this aspect as well. Religious preachers and saints are deeply involved in eradicating the drug abuse through their sermons.
1. Everyone should be cautious of the possible causes which may capture the innocent people.
2. Develop good habits, strong character and admirable personality.
3. Provide proper counseling and knowledge regarding the ill-effects of drugs on personal health, family and society.
4. Understand the dangers in persons suffering from ill-effects and thus realize the consequences. They should immediately contact the expert doctors and avoid delay in treatment.
5. Seek the help of de-addiction and re-habilitation centers which can cure the drug addicts and guide them for re-settlement.
6. Spiritual Guidance: Follow the guidelines conveyed through religious literatures, prophets, ascetics and saints. According to preaching of supreme saint Guru Nanak Devi, the intoxicants like opium, bhang, tobacco, alcohol etc. show their effect only for a short duration, whereas, the love and passionate grace of god is eternal. Saint Kabir Ji has conveyed through sacred version to shun the evils of intoxication, emancipate your soul and become capable to visualize God.
Most adorable saint his holiness Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan of Dera Sacha Sauda has been kind enough to launch 109 program of human welfare. The persons suffering from drug addiction are asked to stay in ashram (Dera) for seven days along with one caretaker.
They are cured through de-addiction, involvement in voluntary social service, yoga, regular exercise, initiation and meditation. Further they are asked to avoid the wicked company of drug-users after treatment.
The holy saint has blessed the masses by launching the movie MSG, the messenger with the major theme to avoid drugs. More than 50 million devotees have been blessed to initiation and they have pledged to avoid drugs. They also motivate to follow the teachings of Guru Ji. Habitual and regular meditation enhances the soul power which inspires to discard evil thoughts and actions.
Dr. Triloki Nath Chugh Insan,
Co-ordinator, Shah Satnam Ji Educational Institutions, Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa (Hry)