Karan Goyal's Web World

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Teen Trials

We might call it youthful exuberance or the folly
of youth but let's not lose sight of the fact that
substance abuse is a scourge.

The Stigma

Substance abuse (alcoholism or drug addiction) is a disease -an acute multiphase disorder- that is characterised by dysfunctioning of the body, mind, emotions, spirit and values. It negatively impacts on relationships with family, occupation and society at large.

Who buys and why?

Statistics show that a person takes to narcotics usually during his teen years due to reasons such as peer pressure and depression.

Drugs can be purchased as easily as vegetables these days. In Delhi, it is alleged that college students can order drugs over the phone and have them home delivered. Drunken binges in hostel rooms are common. 'Rave' parties where young people pop 'uppers' and 'downers' are in vogue. In such a scenario, who do we blame-unscrupulous drug peddlers and lax governmental policy or the addicts who don't have the courage to just say no?

It is easy to apportion blame but we are missing the point if we look for people to blame rather than solving the problem itself.

Some thoughts

The loss of control and craving for alcohol/drugs is a treatable illness. It can happen to any one, regardless of the circumstances of the person's background, race, income, profession or education.

What is required is a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach that embraces medical and behavioural aspects. Indeed, any therapy for the recovering addict must necessarily treat the whole person.

One has to realise that alcoholism or drug abuse is a disease that can be treated and has to be treated at the earliest.

Most importantly, in cases of substance abuse, self-motivation is the most critical factor. The victim must be motivated to make the change to a better lifestyle.