A survey by the United Nations showed Indians get addicted in their early teens be it over drugs, alcohol, or any other controlled substance. Consuming any form of these addictive substances creates a pleasurable “high” that’s physical and psychological. Over the days the need to achieve and maintain that same “High” makes one an addict.
“There is an alarming rise in drug abuse by the population in India with about 2.1 percent of the population consuming opioids as per available Government data with children in the age group of 15 getting addicted. Though the reasons for even consuming and becoming addictive can be any, it is the elusive “High” that makes the youth succumb to it,” said Gayathri Arvind, Founder & Managing Director, Abhasa at an event observing National Addiction Anti-Drug Day.
An addiction (the addiction is immaterial) is a chronic dysfunction of the brain system that involves reward, motivation, and memory. Any person addicted will crave a substance or behavior, making them obsessed over it with total disregard of the consequences.
Surprisingly, everyone assumes being an addict is relegated to only gambling, drugs, tobacco, or alcohol. In today’s fast living and age of Internet, work, caffeine, Internet, Sex, food (junk and regular) anger and video games are also as much a menace as other addictions.
“Sadly, it is not only the addict who faces challenges with the society but also family members who undergo a huge strain be it mental, physical, and even financial. Many have faced bankruptcy due to one family member becoming an addict,” she added.
To start with, parents, siblings and friends become caretakers and their lives revolve around the addict to reform. Guilt also plays a major role with family members blaming themselves for no fault of theirs. An addict is unaware of the happenings around them and it becomes difficult for them to relate to anyone leaving them emotionless and cold. Another point to consider is the trust that one places in the addict as the need for being “High” leads to an addict doing anything for it including stealing, lying, and cheating.
Though central and state governments are also proactive when it comes to drug and alcohol abuse establishing de-addiction centres across districts and seeking the help of corporates and private institutions to help curb this menace, it is best to practice Prevention rather than cure.
“The more talks are held on drug and substance abuse to school students at a very young age more aware they are of how powerful an addiction it is and to stay away,” she pointed out.
An addict (irrespective of what they are addicted to) can be treated and recovery made possible over a period of time depending on how much they are addicted. Treatment in a centre like Abhasa focusses on helping the person get better as they follow a very systematic approach knowing how to stop seeking and engaging in their addiction.
With therapies such as medications, meditation, group therapies, detox, medical intervention and individual psychotherapy sessions, the path to recovery is visible for both the addict and the family members to overcome the challenges.