The Dread That Haunts Mothers, Especially - Drug Addiction | II

NewsBharati    15-Mar-2024 10:56:38 AM   
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The incident of the video of girls, who almost lost consciousness, going viral, in a way compelled me to write about the extremely dangerous situation, we as a society are facing. I thought just writing once would be sufficient, but as the problem started unfolding, I felt it was impossible to stop with one write-up. This would be an attempt to describe and analyse the phenomenon which would be a small series.
drug addiction women 

Jaya Ji (from Arunachal Pradesh) too has many things to share. When enquired about the reasons or the situations that push children to try drugs, she gave some examples. ( These do not cover all the causes, but show how they held the attention of WASE mothers ) She talked about a child who stayed with their mother as his father did not look after them. Mother is from a tribal community and father does not belong to any tribal community. As the child grew up with the mother, he wanted to be known to be as a tribal member, but traditionally children are given the father's identity. The child hardly knew their father, he as a child could never understand why he was not a member of the tribe. It was an identity crisis for the child. Unfortunately, he took refuge in drugs, this could of course not solve any problem but he found himself in a worse situation.

She further said that if the father himself is an alcoholic, there is hardly anyone to discipline children or to turn to, even for advice. The situation tempts one to try drugs and availability is no problem at all, children are easy targets of drugs. Mothers too usually don't dare to point out the fact to the husband. They rather try to hide the facts with the hope of getting things corrected. When the addiction becomes obvious, very few can become sober or drug-free.

She described a case of a child who was drugged by some children at a very young age , maybe he was in primary school,they took him to a forest area and when he was totally under the control of the drug, they left him. He came to his senses and found himself in the forest area after two days, his father too was an alcoholic and had lost his mother, so there was no one to enquire at home. Maybe it was a mischief, but it was the beginning of his drug dependence. Now he is an adult, people helped him to try addiction. He could find a girl who married him and has a daughter now, runs a meat shop, in a way rehabilitated.

Initially, the cases of boys were noticed, but Jaya Ji said that the girls too are found in equal numbers now. WASE even requested the government to allow girls to be allowed to stay at the rehabilitation centres. The government made room for girls, but there is not much success with this, only 2 so far are sober, she observed, and the rest are back to drugs. With easy availability, relapse is quick.

Mostly any celebration or festival is equal to alcohol, Jaya Ji said and to some extent drugs too. This pattern provides an opportunity to turn to drugs as an experiment or adventure.

When asked about what made all the women working in WASE come together, Jaya Ji's reaction was very touching. She said the pain we have is something that binds us or brings us together. There is no one to listen to at home, so we share our sorrow and anxiety with all, we cry together when there is extreme suffering and smile together when there is little success in the work. Pain is the common thread, we want to eradicate it, we support each other, and sharing strengthens our resolve again and again.

These types of cases are found everywhere. One feels that these kinds of problems are not beyond the reach, but the changing scenario in society has influenced the inter-relation of people too. Either people do not approach anyone or no one is available around, so one feels that drugs are only the way to escape. Many are scared of being judged, sometimes people don't even take the opportunity to talk to their friends or extended family members. There is no genuine effort to analyse the problem, youngsters find it easy to take refuge in drugs, even though all know that it never heals, it annihilates. Our social fabric needs to become strong, we genuinely need to care for the people around us. At least we can try to have normal interaction with all. Care for our friends and relatives, helping them is not interference, let us not be individualistic and ignore people in the name of giving space.

Pune too has witnessed this. A huge number of Girls are found to be under the influence of drugs, the areas are purely residential ones. Many who are out of home late at night always notice such girls, usually they refuse to get any attention and even refuse any kind of help.

In such scenes, one meets often late at night in Pune in the allegedly good and safe localities, this compels us to think of easy accessibility to drugs in Pune too. The quantity of drugs confiscated by police departments is a clear indication of the huge number of its users or customers. The picture is very scary.

It is observed that those who stay away from home for education or employment, have no one to be answerable to. So even after committing such a grave mistake, sometimes inadvertently, there is no one to question or observe the changes in the behaviour. Thus it continues. Many were shocked and upset after seeing the viral video. Many expressed the concern.

In this small series, would make an effort to present the points raised by many in the next write-ups as well.

Prof. Vidya Deshpande

Professor Vidya Deshpande has had a journey of more than four decades in the field of education. Her  main expertise is in the subject of Philosophy,  and she has worked as a teacher of philosophy and logic with Nowrosjee Wadia college for 36 years. She has been associated with the Janakalyan Blood bank for last for 38 years and has also carried out the responsibility as a management committee member of Karve Stree Shikshan Sanstha for 10 years. Her special fields of interest are Philosophy of social sciences, school education, development of skills for self reliance,  and top up skills to make students profession ready,