Students and Drug Addiction: Issues and Remedies
More than 20 million students are pursuing higher education in about 800 universities and above 39000 colleges in India. An overwhelming majority (85%) of the students are enrolled in bachelor degree programs. However, students joining institutions of higher education are at the high risk for drug abuse. The studies unearth that first couple of months are the most vulnerable time for students for drug abuse. Some of the attributes responsible for this realism is exposure to newfound freedom, declining influence of parents and growing peer pressure, partying and going to parties and bars. Owing to unstructured hours in daily routine, academic pressure, the stress of studies, anxiety, curiosity for experimentation of new things including drugs, easy availability of substance coupled with low self-esteem together provide fertile ground for drug abuse. Easier access to drugs today than ever before, push students are exposed to greater risk developing abusive habits during this phase of life.
In fact, each generation has witnessed a different array of substances in college and university campuses. In USA Monitoring the Future survey found every third student pursuing higher education binge drinking. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health 2015 revealed that every ninth college student suffered from alcohol use disorder and every fourteenth student met criteria for a substance use disorder involving illicit drugs.
Needless to point out here that drugs are endowed with high potentialities to affect brain, heart, liver, pancreas. Besides it leads to stomach distress, reduced coordination of body parts, slurred speech and nausea. It also weakens immune system make addict to more susceptible to diseases.
In fact, substance use among college and university students predicts substance related problems like physical, psychosocial problems and psychiatric disorders in later life. Apart from health hazard, very high rate of incidence of violence on college and university campuses occurs due to drug abuse reports National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCAAD).
We have examples of some countries which have legalized usage of some special drugs. It surprising to note that the use of drugs was average in those states before it was legal, it shoots up to a new high when it was legalized but soon its consumption hit an all time low. It is also observed from the studies that substance which is tabooed by the society serves as an adventure to be done but once it is legalized and not tabooed anymore, everyone goes crazy and starts consuming it openly but soon the consumption is decreased. In this scenario, we can say that all it requires is one bold move to decrease the consumption of drugs for a longer period of time.
India has the privilege of nestling its young population which is in majority. This gives India the benefit of a large work power but drug abuse still remains one of the biggest hurdles it has to overcome. Drugs reach the interior parts of the country faster than books reach their hand. We need to find an alternative on how the problem of drug abuse can be replaced with quality education and a better living. We already have major problems like unemployment, poverty, negative sex ratio, droughts and even occasional famines. We have to tackle each problem one by one. Let us start with making this world a drug free world. The first step is always the most difficult one but well begun is half done. We have taken the first step, now it is your turn to carry forward this campaign as we walk along to tackle this monster we have created over the period of time.
To facilitate the deliberations, the following sub-themes have been identified:
1.Emerging drug abuse scenario in World
2.Reasons leading to drug abuse.
3.Remedies for drug abuse.
4.Drug abuse issues in India.