The story is the same throughout the world. Drug addiction has spared neither a progressive nation nor a backward one. It is rather strange the more backward a nation is the sadder are the experiences of drug addiction. According to Melvyn Levitsky US Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics Matters there were at least seven lakhs drug addicts in India on August 1, 1989. By the end of the century they would be more than double. It is rather, strange that more than 50% of these can either students of colleges, the seats of knowledge and learning or young men in the 10-25 age group. The group includes people of all shade ranging from engineers and advocates to that of rag collectors and road side hotel boys.
Starting from Heroin, the drug of the rich one passes through passage of LSD, Marijuana and Hashish to reach ‘brown sugar’. It is the most demanded drug as it is rather the cheapest. It takes, hardly three days to fall a prey to it forever. It is, now easily available at all the street corners in big cities, especially in the four metropolitan cities. Once an addict is an addict forever, it is very difficult to stop it.
If dose is not taken or an attempt is made to leave it there is a withdrawal syndrome. It includes vomiting, muscle cramps, convulsions and delirium. The addict is so afraid of the withdrawal syndrome that he dares not leave it.
The Narcotic Control Bureau of India received an aid of 7.5 mil- lion dollars from UNFDAC (United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control). The government too amended the Narcotics Act to punish the drug peddlers. Mayor Barry of Washington proposed “Send the army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, the Coast guards. Burn up those fields, eradicate those coca leaves burn up, blow up those labs. Stop it at the source.” But the dole of 7.5 million dollars has not been able to decrease the number of addicts even by one nor has the fury of Barry been able to touch the 150 billion dollar industry in the US.
Drug addiction is gradually becoming a major problem in the world. These mega methods of funds and law cannot stop the evil. The root does not lie in the shortage of money resources or the bankruptcy of law. It lies in the change of the social fabric in the modern times. The children are left unguarded and unguided because of the careers of the parents, single parenthood, promiscuous society, lack of the sense of responsibility among the teachers, leaders and the dragnet of mafia kings who manage the trade. It is these that require an earnest attention and a concerted action of whole society to eradicate the evil. Drug addiction is a manifestation of these. We have to eradicate the cause. The effect will naturally disappear. It requires grass root work by voluntary organizations. The government can just aid the efforts or initiate the efforts – the management is with the society.