In recent times, drug-addiction in India has assumed menacing proportions and the evil is increasing by leaps and bounds. It is Wide-spreading the hostels and campuses of the universities and technical and professional institutions of the country. Charas, Ganja, Heroin, smack or brown sugar ‘bhanga‘ and even ‘LSD‘ are in great demand and are purchased at exorbitant prices.
Taking of drugs is a great evil. A number of causes are responsible for the evil. In many homes, growing boys and girls do not get the love, care and attention which they should receive at this tender age. Often both the father and the mother are in service and consequently have no time to look after their children. In other cases, the husband and the wife are not on good terms with each other. They often quarrel, the quarrels increase in intensity and violence, and life in the home becomes most unhappy and unpleasant. Such quarrels may lead even to divorce and the breaking up of the family. In still other cases, the father remains too busy in his own social life, to look after the children. The result is that young people in such homes feel lonely and neglected. They feel frustrated. Deprived totally of parental love and affection, they seek consolation elsewhere. They go astray. Their so called friends, who are themselves drug-addicts, mislead them and induce them, at least, to have a taste of it. The drug-sellers fully exploit them. Drugs are in the beginning provided to them quite cheap, but the price goes on increasing as this evil habit takes hold of them and they can no longer do without drugs.
Drug-addiction is an acute problem which has defied all efforts at its solution so far. The drug – addict cannot do without the drug even for a short while, and the habit goes on increasing and soon the addict finds himself a helpless victim of this degrading habit. He must get his dose of it at the fixed time and if he does not get it, he weeps and cries and becomes incapable of the least movement. The result is that he borrows money, or he steals it from his own home or from any other place which may be within his reach. He or she exploited in various ways by their so called friends or the sellers of these vicious drugs. The drug-addicts steal, and with their parents and other members of the family, so that their life in the home becomes a hell. Often the evil results in suicide and the ruin of the whole family. The only beneficiaries are the vendors of these drugs. They thrive while their victims perish.
Total eradication of the evil is the urgent need of the hour, and fight against it must be undertaken on a war-footing and on a number of fronts. public opinion must be created against it and the different media of mass communication-the press, the radio, the television, the cinema, the public platform and the class room-must be pressed into service to combat the evil. In this way the people more particularly the youth, must be made aware of the evil consequences of this habit. They must be made to realize that ‘the friends’ who initiate them into this evil practice are not their friends but their enemies. They exploit them for their own nefarious ends.
Secondly, there must be a concentrated drive against smugglers who smuggle these drugs into the country and make huge profits by selling it to their unlucky, helpless victims. Thirdly, de-addiction centers must be established, at least in all major cities, where the victims of this vicious practice may be treated and gradually weaned away from it. The drug-addicts need sympathy and an understanding of their problems. They should be treated as essential for successfully tackling the problem.
We are glad to note that the government is fully alive to the urgency of this problem. Mass media have already begun to stress this problem and from public opinion against it. Programmers aimed at the eradication of this evil are televised frequently. The drive against smugglers and vendors of these drugs has been intensified, and huge quantities are being seized practically everyday. De-addiction centers for the treatment of these helpless people have already been established in cities like Delhi, and it is hoped that more and more areas would soon have such centers. The fight against this social evil has begun, and its eradication is a matter of time only.