Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has probably become the busiest department now, probably the busiest they have ever been. Everyone knows what is going on, the past few months have been tough for everyone, full of negativity and anxiousness but if there is one positive thing that has come out of this whole fiasco, it is the wake-up call, a call for help for the safety of citizens, especially the youth; safety from drugs. It has also posed an alarming need for awareness among people regarding drug use and abuse. Now is the time we need to start acting to make it better, it is not something that would happen over a day but we need to start today to see a brighter tomorrow.

Walter Bagehot quoted “A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.”, seems like nowadays youngsters act on the same! Drugs, alcohol and many other things that we may not even know about, all have become the face of youth nowadays because a majority of the teens think that it will be rebellious and it looks cool to them. Not only has this trapped the youth in the vicious clutches of drugs but has also twisted their concept of having fun and adulthood. To prove the point, let us consider an example; Rahul turns 21 today, he and his friends are excited, not because he will enter his early 20’s or that he will now be an adult, rather they are excited because he will now be of legal drinking age. This very much explains where the priorities of youth lie nowadays.

A report published by NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) on drugs and human health consequences shows alarming researches on how drugs can negatively impact the overall health of a person. Not only does it cause various cardiovascular complications, lung diseases and several other complications but it looks like mental illness and drugs go hand in hand. Unfocused minds, the state of being physically present and mentally absent, staying aloof and refraining from social interactions which might lead to social anxiety are all the common repercussions of consuming any type of drug. What adds to the problem is the urge. Often people succumb to the strong urge that drugs induce in minds, the result; addiction, which may not only become impossible to reverse but may also cause withdrawal symptoms in people trying to get over it. This sudden and uncontrolled urge is what promotes the illegal buying and selling of drugs in most cases.

It is not a foreign knowledge that drugs are now deeply rooted in our system and like the roots of a tree, it continues to spread and embed itself deep within. The challenges are many, from the difficulty in convincing people to be able to monitor the people involved in peddling, we have a long way to go. The most difficult out of this is convincing the people. Our minds work in unimaginable ways and sometimes it is very difficult to tame and make our minds understand the right thing to do. The undeniable bitter truth is also that our friends and family also play a part in this. The kind of company we stay in affects our decisions as well and everyone knows the power of peer pressure. The deep rooting of drugs in the system can be very well established by the fact that when asked about their favourite place, people would say Kasol, Himachal Pradesh because they have heard that it is quite known for drugs. Such extreme is the condition we are dealing with.

Along with problems, also come possible solutions! The first and foremost being the imparting of correct knowledge and awareness about drugs; uses, repercussions, risks associated with them and finally the vicious process of turning into an addict. Had people known about this in the early years of schooling, half of the population wouldn’t do it for the sake of mere ‘fun’ as they like to call it. Youth is like potter’s clay, it can be moulded into any desirable form, and that is both good and bad, good if the influence on them is positive and vice versa, so, it is important to make sure that this is being taught in the tender teenage in schools and at home. Then comes communication. Communication plays a vital role in any process that takes us towards betterment. A good friend to reach out to and parents who listen to their child attentively are all that are needed to eradicate it to a large extent. Nowadays people also lack a basic understanding of the fact that we need not wait for the government and the whole institution to work on a crisis. We should start with us, with our duties, as children, as adults, as parents, as friends and overall, as citizens to make things better. Remember, it is a demand and supply chain, if there are no customers, there are going to be no sellers as well!

Dehradun, in particular, is a student-occupied space. Lakhs of students are accommodated every year in the city, students who are entering into the fascinating world of college life, waiting for the experience of a better and brighter world. Looking for exposure and in the search of their personalities, there is an underlying curiosity to try everything and see whether it works for them or not. We may not understand this but this is an extremely vulnerable phase where a student can either learn something positive or fall into a lot of negative things and not only experience a decline in their career but also face a lot of health complications. It is very well known that students have gone as far as to take their lives because they were under mental stress of not performing well in classes and so socially disconnected that they could not share it with anyone.

As the responsible youth of the country, we need to stand together against this hidden villain that is prevailing around us day by day. If we see any of our friends who are falling into this death trap, we need to do our best to make the situation better. Support matters and so does being cautious about these things. These are the only pre-requisite tools required to fight this war against drugs. It is not a matter of being right or wrong, being supportive and empathetic towards each other is what is going to be helpful here.

“It is not us against each other, it is us against the problem.”

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