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ROSHIN ABRAHAM / The Hindu.
June 26 is being observed as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The U.N. General Assembly decided to set apart days like this to create awareness about the ill-effects of illicit drugs. This is being done on a regular basis. A day like this serves to direct our attention to the cause. I've been working in the field of addiction management for over five years. I wonder if this day is merely one for the service providers to gear up and conduct a bunch of awareness and advocacy programmers among the general public. This day could be a time to review our own commitment to be empathetic to those dependant on alcohol and other drugs. It could also be a warning bell to all those struggling with drugs; a time for a quick self-evaluation. Besides, it could be seen as a gesture of the government to combat this menace by releasing some money to run a poster exhibition or a rally or a public meeting. Something to show that they're in the fight against it as well, after making good revenue through liquor sales. This could be an eye opener for parents of college-going kids on what their children are exposed to now.
As wide and diverse as the culture of India, so wide are the options of drugs available. They consist of stimulants (uppers), depressants (downers), cannabis, opioids and opiates, solvents and inhalants, hallucinogens and other psychedelic drugs and the more recent threats like roofies and ketamine. The long-term effects of these drugs are dangerous and fatal.
The perils of this drug problem can be seen at different levels. The trouble starts at an individual level. It slowly begins to affect every area of his/her life. It takes a heavy toll on his/her interpersonal relationships. Bootlegging and illicit trafficking affect society. The crimes associated with these affect the community at large. We, as a global community will have to pay a huge price for sustaining the drug problem.
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