By Nikita Rajwade:
India- The land that gives the world ‘multicultural’ a definition in the purest sense, God’s own country, is also one of the major players in the synthetic drug market in the world.
A drug in simple terms would be a substance which alters bodily reactions. Drugs are primarily used in the pharmaceutical industry, and these are classified under prescription drugs. Had the world aligned to merely this function of drugs, we’d probably not be witnessing the death of over two million people every year, of all those who die of what is now known as ‘substance abuse’. Drugs consumed for other than medicinal purposes are used for ‘recreation’ or enhancing one’s physical and mental capacity (smart drugs). Some drugs like heroin are derived from plants (Opium) while others are created ‘synthetically’ in laboratories.
India is unfortunately sandwiched between few of the countries who are the biggest producers of illicit opium, while itself being known to be the largest manufacturer of licit opium. And this opium is channelled more often than not into the international drug market. Other than these ‘traditional drugs’, the Indian subcontinent is now witnessing the rise in the laboratory manufacture of drugs such as ephedrine.
As a citizen of this country, and more importantly as a student of Law, I was rather astounded when I went through the list of drugs banned in India, as uploaded by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization. Not a mention of the words ‘Ephedrine’, ‘Ketamine’ or ‘Methamphetamine’. Understandably, these drugs have certain medical uses, and cannot be banned per se, but it is still very disturbing to know that the regulations on the manufacture and supply of these dangerously addictive substances are not very stringent. The Government, although regulates the manufacture and trade of these substances, hasn’t yet come to a framework conclusive enough to be effective. Under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, offenders related with drug peddling, can be given bails.
It is also imperative to know that the Indian Drug ‘Underworld’, so to say, is not monopolised by a single cartel or a mafia, as was the case in earlier times. This has only paved way for small dealers to make it big in the drug market. Considering the fact that there is no ban on interstate transportation of drugs, markets have cropped up everywhere, sometimes even at the pharmacists’ and the demand for these drugs is growing day after day. The modern world has seen high alcohol and drug dependence among the youth, and it is a trend as well as an addiction amongst the ‘future of India’.
It is only fair for the Government to work on making the existing laws more stringent, or perhaps introduce new laws that will address the current issues effectively. A single law can make a world of a difference, and even if it’s just one person who abides by it, the entire system of law will have achieved its aim. Apart from this, it is a personal opinion that children, or more appropriately, teenagers and young-adults must be counselled and taught the ill-effects of these life-altering substances. It is seen that such topics are avoided in everyday households, either to due to the unwillingness of parents to discuss such issues, or due to ignorance. In most cases, parents live in denial, in spite of knowing that their children are in fully exposed to substance culture in today’s world. Teenagers and youngsters too, unable to cope with the various pressures they are subjected to, find solace in drugs, not willing to consider how drastically it will affect their lives in future.
There is, I emphasise, no shame in admitting that they are having problems coping with the daily demands of peers, educational institutions and demanding parents and girlfriends or boyfriends, even. This is where counsellors need to step in and play their part, wisely offering alternative methods for the youth to channelize their depressed or low energies. Schools too, must undertake such programs and every educational institution and all firms and industries, I recommend, must have a counsellor on their list of employees.
The major drawback, I believe lies not only with the Government agencies, but also the society. We need to evolve as a society, and stop pressurizing teenagers with unnecessary issues. Jesse Jackson said, ‘Today’s students can put dope in their veins or hope in their brains. If they can conceive it and believe it, they can achieve it. They must know it is not their aptitude but their attitude that will determine their altitude.’
If I were asked, I’d just expand this quote to include the Indian society in its ambit.
Image courtesy:Â http://www.naturalbuy.com/can-college-kids-recover-from-drug-addiction-while-in-school/