Why drug abuse is now tougher to counter

Over-the-counter medicines pose a challenge

 Drug abuse in the City has got bigger and grown into a more serious concern over the years, with easy availability of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. 

 The scourge is increasingly spreading its tentacles among the teenage population. It has become sophisticated over the years, say members of the Narcotics Anonymous (NA) committee, which turns 20 on September 1.  Comparing with the choice of drugs he indulged in 16 years ago, Naveen (name changed) said the potency of drugs had today increased manifold. “The drugs are much more effective. We, at the NA, have seen noticeable changes in the use of drugs over the past decade,” he said.

Having been involved in helping addicts who wish to redeem their future, NA has noticed many from the younger generation now taking part in its meetings. “A lot many of the addicts are still in their teens. There has been a noticeable change in the age group of those attending the meetings,” said Naveen. However, NA has no records of the meetings. 

Few of those attending NA’s meetings have succeeded in freeing themselves of the habit. “According to surveys by an independent organisation, only four per cent of the people who attend the NA meetings have been able to completely recover from drug abuse,” said Prashant (name changed), another member of NA.

According to NA members, the biggest cause for concern is that addicts are always in denial.  “The first and biggest hurdle is the denial factor. No addict, unless he has lost everything, admits he is a drug abuser,” he said.  The organisation is looking at a structured and systematic approach towards ensuring that drug addicts come out of it all. The number of rehabilitation centres is estimated to be between 55 and 60. “These rehabilitation centres, apart from the popular hospitals, are the first point of contact to ensure that addicts have a support system,” said Naveen. Currently, NA holds meetings at 12 locations, towards evening every day. Contact NA members on the helpline number 9880590059 or e-mail them at nabangalore@hotmail.com.

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