Published : Wednesday, 4 October, 2023 at 12:00 AM Count : 436
The destruction of the possibilities of our youth is clearly observed from the statistics that more than 7.5 million people of our country, according to the souvenir of Department of Narcotics Control (DNC), are addicted to drugs of which 84.27 percent possess 16-40 age category. The great concern is, then, that a great number of them are between 21 and 25 years old.
The drug addicts, especially the youth, are not such a burden that we bear, rather it has become a matter of concern all over the world. Recently UNDOC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) which addresses the problem of illicit drug and transnational crime, for instance, has revealed World Day Report 2023 which shows that 70 percent of African drug addicts are young.
Everybody knows, however, that the abuses of drugs can affect the brain development and growth of youth; even it leads to risky behavior and creates a series of health problems, both physical and mental. A research by MRC Laboratory of Molecular biology, situated in Cambridge, shows that approximately 80% of drug addicts die of cancer. In addition to, drug addiction complicates relationship between the patient and his relatives; and the patient also experiences insomnia or sleepiness, extreme tiredness, bad headache, nausea and so on.
Through various reports and newspapers, people, generally, know about the unusual accidental deaths caused under the abuses of the vigor of our youth remain ever unseen. Despite knowing all effects mentioned young people are increasingly taking drugs in our country. Geographical position of our country, at first, can be regarded as one of the main reasons since our country is situated between two primal areas of illicit opium production namely, the Golden Triangle and the Golden Crescent. Many districts of our country, moreover, share their borders with India from which a lot of drugs are smuggled every year and so people, despite its many hazardous problems, get an opportunity to take it for easy supply.
Then, three hills areas sharing their borders with India or Myanmar are dangerous for supply of drugs for the areas' natural structure. Though article 23(A) of our constitution allows the tribal people to drink to conserve the cultural and traditional history, they must not produce the liquor with a view to disseminating and earning money. Nevertheless, many people business and smuggle the liquor.
Apart from geographical reason, personal characteristics make the youth intending to take drugs. Many characteristics may be visible before us as to why people take drugs, but curiosity is the main one. For instance, when a person falls in depression, or sees his friends or family members taking drugs, hardly does his curiosity prevent him from taking.
Nowadays, some kinds of drugs have been symbols of fashion among our youth. For instance, Codeine, known as Methyl Morphine, has gained popularity for its easy availability and using method and so is considered as the symbol of youth smartness of advancement in fashion and culture. But it is, in fact, a deadly game for the youth.
It also should be observed why the young girls are now being addicted to drugs since a study shows that 16% of total addicts are women. The statistic that approximately 27,300 women are concerned with smuggling of drugs is a threat to a balanced-society. Some factors function behind it such as curiosity, concept of zero figure, social media, intention derived from the history of family addiction, force by boyfriend or someone, wish to slim-skin etc. The effect of drug addiction, however, appears to women differently because of their natural physical structure and its activities. They mostly experience distressing changes of mind and body, migraine headache, irregular hormonal-cycle their body undergoes every month, fatigue and many difficulties during pregnancy.
This problem i.e. drug addiction, however, must be abolished from our society though it seems to be impossible regarding our present situation. In our country, to prevent the problem DNC functions in three ways namely, demand reduction, supply reduction and harm reduction
The question, then, naturally appears as to how much we are successful in this regard. At first, though demand and supply are two correlative factors, demand comparatively plays a dominating role. If the drug-demand outstrips supply chain, it becomes more challengeable to clump down drug spiraling. Demand reduction, interestingly, means creating awareness among all people through posters, leaflets, festoons, banners, annual drug reports, monthly bulletins, seminar-symposiums, anti-drug committees, anti-drug speeches in school, college. More than thousands of banners, stickers, leaflets are created and 1200 drug reports are published every year by NDC.
The statistics, but, according to NDC, make us broody that 25654 cases have been filled against 27859 drug addicts in 2022, while it was against 21992 in 2021 and during the first six months in 2023, 12605 cases have already been prosecuted. Secondly, after the first one, supply reduction functions through reporting on total production, smuggling and abuse of drugs in our country, operating mobile court, preserving the database of the whole procedure of expedition. How much this way has been fruitful is not obvious to us since a lot of criminals are arrested and heroine, codeine are seized every month.
Then, the contribution to prevent the problem of harm reduction must not be denied. Once, a person starts taking drugs, he, while desiring to give up, experiences withdrawal symptoms such as tiredness hunger, depression, anxiety, cravings for drug etc. As a result, he fears to be adopted natural life. Treatment and rehabilitation of drug addiction, though some drug addiction treatment centers are available, should be increased with standard quality services.
Drug addicts of women should be taken of special care by women-experts. Because, they hardly give any information for social and family aspects; and they, as a study reads, find themselves in difficulty to give up though they, opposed to male, intend to be addicted later.
We, therefore, must wholeheartedly exercise the ways we have taken with this slogan that "People first: stop stigma and discrimination, strengthening prevention."
The writer is a student of Department of Law, Dhaka University