Thursday, May 7, 2009

Alcohol and Drug Addiction

We have fast cars and mobile phones. We have designer clothes and luxurious houses but broken homes.

All of us live in an age of transition. Every one of us is running in a race. In this race to the future we have abandoned our treasures of the past.

Drugs and alcohol have become a part of every urban Indian household. A number of people take refuge in these vices without understanding the consequences. The law enforcement agencies in this country have failed terribly to control the spread of narcotic substances. The kind of access and the influence that the drug mafia exercises over all our cities is a very worrying. I know that all of you understand the threat posed by drugs. Therefore let me begin with the causes.

We are witnessing historic changes in the social fabric of the country. Globalization has led to what I call aping the west. We have not only adopted the good of the west but we have also adopted the ghastly. One may argue that this problem existed even before the process of globalization started. My answer to that is the number of victims has risen astronomically only in the past five or ten years.

Another challenge that we face in the battle against drugs is that there is a lack of awareness. The unrelenting yet tentative curiosity of a teenager leads him to discussions in the peer group. Now, in the peer group the person who asks a question is as ignorant as the person who answers it. So these bands of teenagers end up believing in notions that are inherently distorted and a far cry from reality. The monstrous ramification? We have successfully created drug eating zombies.

Society generally condemns addiction to drugs. Drug addicts need sympathy and help rather than apathy and social exclusions. Addiction to drugs and alcohol needs to be treated as a disease rather than an illicit habit. At the school level there needs to be a separate and specific legal and frame work under which drug addicts can be rehabilitated and peddlers severely punished. The law needs to make clear distinctions between the predator and the prey.

Indian culture is more dynamic than most of us think. Our most valued treasure- family traditions are being forgotten in the race for money and fame. In the age of cultural assimilation we are bound to be effected by influences from the west. Therefore it is more relevant today than ever before for us sit up and take notice of the blind acceptance of western lifestyles. . History is witness: India has accepted many foreign cultural influences yet even today retains a distinct identity.

Let us not commit the same mistakes as the west. Let us make our own mistakes I am sure we’ll have plenty of them.

I rest my case at that.


  1. I am completely against the rising alcohol and drug culture but it's wrong to compare it to traditional Indian culture. You just took the pros into consideration i.e. - family values.
    Indian culture has always been light and supportive towards alcohol and drugs. Gaanja/Bhang is supposed to be Lord Shiva's prasad. And drinking socially has been a part of Indian culture for countless generations.

  2. The success of drug intervention programs results from a combined effort of families, friends and a professional drug interventionist.