No I am Not an Addict! The life of an Addict is Surrounded With Denial

Dear Ma’am,

I need help!

I am studying in class XI in one of the best schools of Gurgaon. I tried smoking weed with my friends just to have fun. Then we (friends & I) kept meeting once or twice a week for movies and group studies and we smoked together and also drank alcohol. I am not addicted, we take it quite often, but I am certain that I am not addicted. I googled and found weed had a lot many medicinal properties and since then I started smoking early morning before studying.

It helped in early days but now somehow I feel I am not as proactive as before and my creativity is on stake. I don’t know why I am irritable and agitated with my parents and my younger sister. I have concentration problems.  Don’t know if its side effect of it. I know I can quit it…but…..God knows somewhere I am stuck.

Prevention of Drug Addiction

Daily I receive around 100- 140 emails/sms/messages on different consultation apps. 40% of them are related with alcohol/nicotine/ drug addiction. This particular email coming from a 15 years old, undoubtedly it made me upset. But the last line of this mail gave me goose bumps.

“And my periods are also irregular now.”

Girls are not behind. In Delhi NCR, seventy percent of high school-going children are exposed to alcohol, nicotine, weed and other easily available options. Most of them turn addicted and girls are also engaged in such activities.

Alcohol and drug addiction is a potential threat; as perilous as terrorism to a country’s growth. It is razing our preteens, teens and youths.

Read this mail carefully again & again. You will find the common signs & symptoms of addiction.

“I am not addicted….”.the very first stage of addiction is denial. This is the early stage where you can quit it but you don’t want because you are in a denial and in a confused state of mind. When you keep struggling between right and wrong, controllable or uncontrollable…you justify your reasons to smoke and not to accept that you are getting addicted.

Behavioural Changes:I am irritable and agitated with my parents and my younger sister”

When you feel irritable and agitated it’s another sign you are crossing the borderline and entering into addiction zone. An accumulated guilt overpowers you and you stop loving yourself.

  • Anger, frustration, agitation, irritation
  • Frequent arguments & fights with mother and siblings
  • Memory loss or problem in concentrating
  • Lethargy and procrastination
  • Paying attention on unimportant tasks
  • Maintaining secrecy

A significant drop in your potential: Drug abuse and addiction definitely makes you dysfunctional.I am not as proactive as before, and my creativity is on stake” “concentration problems”

  • Do you think your analytical skills are as good as before?
  • Is your creativity at study/work is changing; you are not able to think the way you used to.
  • Do you feel less energetic, sick and tired?
  • Do feel distracted?
  • Do you notice lack of goal orientation?

You are losing control:I know I can quit it…but…..God knows somewhere I am stuck.”

You usually end up having a dry mouth, suffering from nervousness; have irregular periods, sometimes palpitations, shaky hands and low confidence.

This is a very crucial and an alarming stage!

I fear ‘Udta Punjab’ can turn into Udta Nation. What can be done when drugs are available at cheaper price and a network of sellers ensure that you get the fox you need?

We need to take proactive and preventive approach-

Effective Parenting is always an evolving topic. We as a parent can make mistakes unknowingly and lose our child, and then only we think of contacting healthcare professionals. Why not before making mistakes? How many of us actually try to learn parenting professionally, we need to learn how to build a relationship of faith and trust with your children.

Enhancing School Environment by arranging training for educators and students. Sensitizing children at school level is one of the best preventive approaches.

All hospitals and mental /behavioural health caregivers keep running effective programs on drug abuse and addiction at affordable price for creating awareness and creating a support system for individuals and groups.

Making our children responsible citizens is a collective responsibility of parents, school and healthcare professionals.