Adam Rickitt, a British actor, once said, “Drugs ruin peoples’ lives, break up families and have disastrous effects on our community”. But still, what we see, read and hear in everyday news is the increasing cases of drugs. The Anti-Drug and Smuggling Unit, in Mauritius, is working tirelessly everyday to combat those illicit drugs. It seems that people do not realize how they are not only wasting their time, by either dealing with drugs or those consuming the drugs, but how their lives are also being wasted and destroyed, which is harder to believe and watch! Martin Luther King Jr. was definitely right by saying that, “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” Let us come to the matter itself.
Whether we all know about it or not, drug is any substance, apart from water and food, which, when consumed, changes the reactivity attitude of our body in a different psychological and physical way. There are different categories of drugs.
The first one is known as depressants. For example: alcohol; sedatives such as valium; opiates such as heroin and morphine, glue, petrol and other solvents. Depressants include Ethyl Alcohol, Barbiturates, and Benzodiazepines. People often rely on depressants to evacuate anxiety, to lessen disorders out of their control, against depression but also against seizures and their inability to rest. Depressants help by providing a relaxed feeling as it reduces brain activity.
The second one is known as stimulants. A stimulant is a type of drug which increases the brain’s activity. It makes someone becomes more alert, elevates his mood reactivity and makes him become more aware. Stimulants are known to make people addicted, although each one of them have unique functions. We have, as stimulants: caffeine, cocaine, nicotine, methamphetamine, along with other stimulants. Caffeine is the most common stimulant as we find it in tea, coffee, cocoa, soft drinks, etc… Methamphetamine is, compared to caffeine, the most illegal stimulant used. Caffeine brings insomnia, irritability whereas methamphetamine is as addictive as caffeine but can lead to more serious brain tissue damage.
The third one is known as hallucinogens. Examples of hallucinogens are: LSD, magic mushrooms, ecstasy, cannabis, etc. It is believed by researchers that by consuming those hallucinogens, our perception, mood and cognition change. Hallucinogens are believed to damage our brain system to a point where we will not be able to response to stress and panic situations. Hallucinations can be from short-term to long-term periods, i.e., it can start from twenty minutes to one hour and a half after ingestion and last even up to a day. The most common problem that hallucinogen drug users face is that these types of drugs are unforeseeable.
We can find among the short-term effects of hallucinogens, an increased rate of the body temperature, the blood pressure along with the heart rate being increased. The one consuming will also lose his appetite and will start sweating. He may experience quick change in his emotions as well as experiencing several emotions at once.
Among the long-term effects, we will find the hallucinogen persisting perception disorder. It is divided into psychosis and flashbacks. When the drug user experiences psychosis, he will have issues with his vision and his mood. He will not be thinking in an organized way anymore and he will always be scared of everything. And as for the flashbacks, the hallucinations will be worse, and the drug user will have more serious symptoms. The other types of drugs we have are the dissociative, the opium and inhalant. And, as for the pregnant woman, consuming drugs will make her fetus go through the same effects as the mother and the chance of birth defects will considerably increase.
“Drugs take you to hell,
disguised as heaven”
The law doesn’t make drugs illegal for no particular reasons. In fact, drugs are made illegal as they expose human beings to serious danger of health and is life threatening. Abuse of drugs is also more than a social factor. Too many of our citizens are dying or wasting their lives, and these affect the surroundings by bringing in other problems such as violence, crimes or even road accidents.
Robin Williams said, “Reality is just a crutch for people who can’t cope with drugs”. It is sad to note that because of the biological, environmental and developmental factors and stages of the life cycle of a drug abuser, they are often left to themselves as society always treats them as criminals when in fact they are victims of drugs. The society should be an institution where we feel cared, secured and loved and not pinpointed for our bad decisions that we take. Everyone makes mistakes. When someone takes a bad decision in life, we should offer our support and help that person out by showing him the right path of life. Else, if we always adopt a critical attitude towards the drug addicts, then they will only be left with the feeling of being alone and this is when they will want to get back to the deadly cycle of consuming drugs. But regretfully, with peer pressure or even at times loneliness, without realizing, this is how they are opening the door to hell. As Donald Lynn Frost said, “Drugs take you to hell, disguised as heaven”.
Moreover, we all know that, “Prevention is better than cure”. Besides, awareness campaigns must be taken seriously by everybody. It is through education that we get to learn how to be better citizens and how to escape the evil side of things, for example, peer pressure. Awareness campaigns for drugs must start not only from NGO’s, associations but it should start by parents themselves. Our citizens should be well-guided so as to prevent their children from choosing the wrong path of life. Even primary school students should be aware of how bad drugs are as nowadays everyone as a whole are being exposed to them. As for the victims, we should not forget to inform them of the rehabilitation centers which offer tailor-made services according to their use or drug addiction situations.
On top of that, we should not forget that engagement in activities like social work or caring for our environment, amongst others, will surely make the person become a better human being in his inner self spirit. Drug addicts will easily and completely forget about drugs as in their free time they are being actively engaged in doing good actions beneficial for themselves and for platforms like the community. They won’t have time anymore to think about the drugs and they won’t be influenced anymore by others. Instead, they will be the inspiration for others in need. As Shiv Khera said, “Your positive action combined with positive thinking results in success”.