Drug Abuse: Know it to know them and rehab them
By: Dr Owvass Hamied Dar
This is a short story about one young boy about 20 years of age (Name withheld) from Dialgam side (Anantnag) who had come for an Ultrasound Abdomen yesterday. He was recently diagnosed with mild Jaundice (hepatitis) and was suffering from Hepatitis-C infection. While extracting his history from him, I came to know that he was a chronic drug abuser for last many years apart from all his friends. It was very shocking to me when he said, the majority of his female schoolmates are also indulging in Drug abuse for many years.
Many of them are now having chronic Hepatitis C infection apart from drug withdrawal symptoms and are now undergoing treatment. But who knows how many of them are still doing drug abuse and are evading the eyes of society?
I felt somehow happy that he had overcome drug addiction about 2 months back and was currently undergoing rehabilitation therapy.
When I asked him what was the price of each banned drug dose (price/snuff or price/injection), I was astonished when he said about 1500 to 2000 /dose which he was managing by extorting money from parents, friends, and relatives on one or other pretext. Sometimes he used to do part-time jobs or odd jobs to fetch money for the dose. As per him, many drug abusers also do thefts in their homes or their relative’s homes by taking either money or gold Jewellery items whatever comes their way to meet their drug cravings. Girls indulge in things that I can’t even express here.
He is currently undergoing treatment for both drug withdrawal symptoms as well as for Hepatitis C infection. He was courageous enough to speak in detail and realized his mistake even though a bit late but it is never too late to understand the mistake and rectify it.
My request to responsible citizens of society, parents in particular is that kindly watch your children keenly for any behavior changes, concentration issues of their children, unexplained thefts at their home, lack of coordination, slurred speech, involuntary eye movements, drowsiness, etc.
It is more important NOT TO GIVE THEM UNACCOUNTED MONEY UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
Money taken to celebrate birthdays for cakes or gifts or to buy clothes is being used to buy the drugs which then destroy their health as well as their careers. Many among them even lose their lives.
It is our collective responsibility to talk to them and take them to concerned health institutions or doctors for their rehabilitation. Mass awareness is key and it is the responsibility of each one of Us to make people, especially school children and College students aware of the hazards which these drug addictions bring while destroying their careers, health, and economy of the society.
The administration is trying its best to curtail it and rehab the abusers but more needs to be done to track and tackle the drug peddlers and handers by dealing with them with Iron Fist. Public Safety Acts must be applied to such big fishes who are destroying our society and youth in particular.
Dr Owvass is a consultant radiologist, at Kashmir Diagnostic Center, GMC Anantnag