Drug or substance abuse is not a simple problem. It can arise from a social stigma or merely lack of self-worth. However, there is one thing common among all the individuals suffering from drug addiction, and that is—individuals resort to drugs to hide from reality.
There are many early signs that can be picked up by the addicted person and their loved ones to recognize the actual issue. Once the starting phase of the addiction passes, it becomes tough for an individual to recover from their addiction.
We have taken into consideration the mindset of drug addicts, along with their common issues to bring this piece for you to understand and know lesser-known things about drug addiction.
Top Things that You Should Know about Drug Addiction
1. Addiction can be Hideous
Drug addiction in real life is way more hideous than you think it is. Thanks to the cinema, we all have a misconception about drug addiction. It is often exaggerated. You may not be able to spot a drug addict. In fact, these individuals try to hold themselves together in a better manner after doing drugs so that they can kill any possibility of being caught.
2. Drug Addiction is Not a Choice
No individual willingly turns into a drug addict. It is the underlying emotional, physical, psychological, social, or financial issue that leads them to drug addiction. In most of the cases, it becomes easier for people who are in depression and suffer from a mental health issue to turn victim to drug addiction.
3. Prescription to PainKillers and Sleep Alleviation May Cause Addiction
When individuals suffering from anxiety and depression seek a consultation from a doctor, they get a prescription for their issues along with some other exercises. Some of the individuals find that they can cope up with their lives better when under the influence of the prescribed drug and may choose to overdo. This can gradually turn into a regular habit, and they may turn into drug addicts.
4. Lack of Self-worth is a Leading Cause
Families may have over-expectation from a member, or a boss may humiliate an employee for not being competent enough for the designation. These may seem like trivial issues. However, the splash that these create in the lives of individuals can be powerful enough to turn them into drug addicts. Drugs often help individuals to avoid the feeling of self-disgust.
5. There May Not be a Problem At All
When we spot a drug addict, the first thing that comes to our mind is—what could be his/her story for drug addiction. It may be surprising, but there may not be an actual story as to why an individual has turned into a drug addict. He/She may have a perfect partner, perfect job, adequate income, and yet can be addicted. Some individuals resort to drugs’ just for fun‘.
6. Sobriety Requires Patience and Support
A drug addict cannot turn sober overnight. Well, they may, but the point is, it is difficult. The very first step to quitting drug addiction is to realize that there is a problem. However, most of the drug addicts do not accept the problem, and they think that it is only little drugs. It takes consistent care and support from the loved ones or a professional to incite sobriety among drug addicts.
Now that you know all that you should about drug addiction, you should also know that it is never too late to quit drug addiction. If you are suffering from drug addiction, regardless of how severe or trivial it is, you should consciously make a decision to lead a sober life.
It is totally upon you to decide whether you want to turn sober on your own or seek a bit of professional advice.
While you may drift off to your old habits too quickly, a professional can help you stay motivated towards your goal and may encourage you to look at the positive aspects of your life.
It is also recommended that you have a loved one by your side all this while when you are turning sober. They can care for you and support you in your journey. All-in-all, you have to be firm about your decision and think positive about any given situation in your life.
On top of it, it is always better to take some time out for your well-being by visiting a rehab centre.
Some specific individuals are at a high risk of developing addictions. It may be stress, vulnerability, insecurity, fear, or merely sadness that has been forcing them down the dark alley of drug addiction. According to some reports, most of the drug abuse cases that have come to the fore are because of the psychological factors and societal pressure. On the other hand, some individuals consciously do drugs, despite knowing their repercussions.
In order to understand the science behind drug abuse, we have conducted incisive research. Below are the most common reasons explaining the increase in the number of drug addicts.
Why Are Drug Addicts Increasing?
1. Peer Pressure
Most of the causes of drug addiction include millennial in some way or the other. Now the millennial populace is the cohort that has a powerful influence of their pals over their behaviour.
In such a case, they are often misled by their friends. Drugs are looked up to as doing something ‘cool’. Hence, to live up to the image of being ‘cool’, millennials often start doing drugs, without realizing the harm that it is bringing to their physical as well as mental health.
2. Emotional Issues
This is the time when an emotional investment is considered riskier than a financial investment. This is because the individuals of today are impulsive and impatient. They lack strong willpower. As a result, in case they lose their loved ones, their mind and heart can’t deal with reality, and they resort to doing drugs to escape the pain.
In addition to this, heartbreaks are quite common these days. Hence, people emotionally invested in their loved ones find it difficult to move on, and so drugs become their pal.
3. Personality Issues
There is a cohort of individuals with a shy or introverted personality, which is not considered normal in the societal image. A society encourages extroverts and pushes introverts to be like their counterparts. Since introverts tend to find socializing as an energy-draining exercise, they seek comfort in drugs to beat their social anxiety.
In addition to this, individuals that are mentally abused at work or suffer from humiliation are, in turn, highly susceptible to drug addiction. This is because they have low self-worth, and they strive to hide behind the bush to avoid overthinking.
4. Physical Issues
The lifestyle of people has been upside down. There is a lack of a proper work schedule, sleeping patterns, eating habits, etc. This has an evident effect on the body of individuals. As a result, to be able to keep their calm and be efficient at work, people turn towards drugs.
In addition to killing the physical fatigue, individuals suffering from chronic diseases are found to be more vulnerable to doing drugs. Often than not, this situation is because they find it difficult to live up to the life they desire and get scary thoughts about their deaths.
5. The Cloud of Happiness
Drugs are but the cloud of happiness. It creates a camouflage in the mind of individuals that doing drugs would help them cope up with the situation and make their lives happier.
The rate of individuals suffering from depression and social anxiety has been increasing at an alarming rate. Social interaction has been reducing. As a result, loneliness and lack of caring friends and family members often create sadness to individuals, and they drive themselves to the alley of drugs to feel the momentary happiness.
A lot has been said about drug addiction. However, these are the root causes, provoking individuals to indulge in self-destruction. It is indeed challenging to cope up with drug addicts. However, if you or your loved one is suffering from drug abuse, it is a good idea to get a clear idea about what drug is doing in real life.
There are several options available out there, in the form of therapies, rehab centres, and coaches, to resolve the drug addiction. However, the first step to it is realizing that the issue persists. In most cases, drug addicts often try to manipulate others into thinking that there is no reason behind their addiction. This becomes the responsibility of their loved ones to help them think clearly about the impact of drugs on their lives and encourage them to quit it.
If you are someone dealing with drug addiction, you can consider going to a rehab center to live a sober life.
The widespread substance abuse in India has emerged as a serious concern, especially in the younger generation. The changing cultural values, increasing economic stress, and other social issues are leading the youth into abuse and addiction. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), persistent or sporadic drug use that is unrelated to accepted medical practices is classified as substance abuse. The effective response to the world drug problem demands accountable and inclusive institutions of social services, criminal justice, and health to work collectively to provide integrated solutions. This approach has to be in line with the international drug control conventions, sustainable development goals, and human rights obligations.
What constitutes drug abuse?
It is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking that is compulsive, difficult to control. The individual continues the use of drugs addictively despite being aware of its harmful consequences.
Initially, the drug intake of the individual is voluntary for most; however, repeated use leads to brain changes. It starts challenging the person’s self-control and starts interfering with their ability to resist the urge to take drugs.
The brain changes are persistent, and people in recovery are at an increased risk of relapse even after years of abstinence.
What is illicit drug trafficking?
When it comes to the availability of the drugs, the culprit is drug trafficking. It is a global illicit trade that involves the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and sale of substances that come under drug prohibition laws.
Prevalence of Illicit Drug Use. A comparison of Global, Asian and National Estimates ( in %)
World (15-64 years)
Asia (15-64 years)
India (10-75 years)
Drug Abuse in India
During the year 2018, an extensive survey was carried out by the National Drug Dependence Treatment Center (NDDTC) of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). Under the directives of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, this comprehensive initiative was titled ‘National Survey on Extent and Patten of Substance Use in India’.
The report provides data estimates of the harmful use and dependence for the following substances:
Cannabis (Bhang and Charas / Ganja)
Opioids (Heroin, Opium and Pharma Opioids)
Amphetamine Type Stimulants (ATS)
Inhalants and Hallucinogens
In the age group of 10-75, nearly 14.6 percent (16 crore people) of people consume alcohol. It is prevalent 17 times more in men than in women. The predominantly consumed alcoholic beverages are country-made liquor, and Indian made foreign liquor.
About 5.2 percent were found to be dependent on alcohol i.e., and every third alcohol user is suffering from alcohol-related problems.
The states of Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, and Tripura showed the highest prevalence of alcohol use and related disorders.
Nearly 3.1 crore individuals reported having consumed cannabis products in the past 12 months. About 2.2 crores used bhang, and 1.3 crore people consumed Ganja or Charas.
Nearly .66 percent of Indians need immediate help for cannabis use problems. The use of bhang was found to be more popular than ganja/ charas.
Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Chattisgarh, Delhi, and Sikkim had a relatively higher prevalence of cannabis, and the same states were found to be having a higher incidence of cannabis use disorders.
In India, heroin is the most common form of opioid (1.14%), then is Pharmaceutical opioids (.96%) and followed by opium (.52%). More people were found to be dependent on heroin than any other opioid.
In India, more than half of the reported cases of opioid use disorders are from the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat.
Talking of the percentage of population affected by its use, the northeastern states of Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Manipur were the highest followed by Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi.
Sedatives and Inhalants
The survey found that in the 10-75 age groups, nearly 1.08 percent of Indians are users of different forms of sedatives. It includes non-medical and non-prescription use sedatives. The states of Sikkim, Manipur, Nagaland, and Mizoram have the highest prevalence of sedatives.
However, the top five states that have the largest populations using sedatives are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat.
Inhalants are having high use in children and adolescents (1.17%) than adults (.58%). In India, an estimated 4.6 lakh children and 18 lakh adults need help for their inhalant use.
Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, and Maharashtra have the highest population of children needing help for inhalant use.
It includes: cocaine (.10%), amphetamine-type stimulants (.18%) and hallucinogens (.12%). These are having the lowest prevalence of use in India.
The survey also found that access to adequate treatment services for people affected by substance abuse is grossly inadequate in India. Only one in 38 people were able to avail treatment for his substance abuse problems, and only one in 180 people with alcohol dependence report getting hospitalized for treatment.
The survey concluded that greater awareness and appropriate health actions were necessary to curb the menace of substance abuse in India.