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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pollution in our inner environment: Drug Addiction and Alcoholism

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Internal parts of human body including all the systems and organs constitute its inner environment. There is some sort of pollution in our inner environment too.Taking in adulterated food, drug addiction, smoking, taking Gutkha and Pan Masala, and drinking alcohol cause serious pollution in our inner environment. Taking in Pan Masala and Gutkha are popular in India only. However, other forms are popular in most of the countries of the world. Tobacco mixed Gutkha and pan masala have become popular in India since last few years but now the popularity of these have increased up to a most dangerous level. Juts go to a pan shop and you are sure to notice numerous types of these substances packed in chains of small sachets. School boys, stunt men and even ladies don’t hesitate in taking these toxic substances in spite of statutory warning on their packets. Smoking tobacco either in the form of Biri or cigarette is going on increasing at a hazardous speed and no one is ready to take care even after warnings through various media. Rising number of liquor shops in every street and mohallah are confirmed indications of increasing alcoholism in Indian societies. Pollution of this type is closer to our life and it can push the addicted people towards pains, worries, deformities, impairments, agonies and finally the miserable death. We try to conserve the components of our environment since we remain worried for our own existence. Thus taking in drugs, alcohol and the like substances to endanger our existence can make no sense.

Image:1 Tobacco Plants

Image:2 Canabis Plants

Drugs and Addiction
Drugs are chemical substances that have powers to change the functioning of our body systems. A doctor prescribes drugs to a patient because he wants to change the functioning of any of his body systems to help him enjoy a good health. Before prescription the doctor has to make sure about the type and amount of a particular drug needed to cure a particular disease. There are people who take drugs without prescription of any doctor just because they are aware of their effects through their own experience. Taking drugs by purchasing them over the counter, which is without the prescription of a qualified doctor is illegal. Still, there are people who take drugs illegally by paying heavy prices and consume them without consulting a doctor. This they do as they enjoy disturbing their body systems, especially their minds for strange experiences. The habit of enjoying strange experiences through the consumption of drugs overpowers them and drops them into the ocean of experiences of pains, decay and death.

The habit of taking drugs is formed due to various reasons. First comes- the heavy fees of doctors and their behaviors towards patients. The astonishingly high rates of fees of most of the doctors and their trends of exploiting the patients through various different ways create a fear in patients against them. We may hear many men and women saying something like this – I think it is better to die than to go to a doctor. Many doctors are Yamaraj themselves. This condition encourages patients to purchase medicines over the counter. And while they repeat this practice, the affiliation they establish with pharmacists works well in helping them purchase drugs from there. Some most serious drugs and narcotics like heroines, marijuana, cannabis etc. are popularized by agents. Such agents remain available in every part of society and even near school gates.

Drugs are habit forming chemicals. Once a man develops habit of taking these substances it goes beyond his will power to leave the same. This is called as addiction. Tobacco and its other forms like cigarette, pan masala, gutkha and drugs cause addiction and it often becomes very difficult for a person to leave the consumption of these substances once he gets an addiction.

Types of drugs
Principally there are four types of drugs. Some drugs like morphine, codeine and heroin are derived from opimium. These are called Narcotics or opiate narcotics. These are drugs stimulating the nervous system of addict.Caffeine, cocoa, cocaine and amphitamines are some of such drugs. These are called stimulants.
Some of the drugs can alter a person’s thoughts, feelings and perceptions. These drugs comprise a wide range of compounds including mescaline, psilocybin, and products of hemp plant like bhang, charas, marijuana and hashis. These drugs are called hallucinogens, sedatives and tranquilizers and drugs that have “switching off” effects on the activity of brain. These produce such types of feelings as calmness, relaxations, or drowsiness.
Addiction and alternatives

A man, who consumes drugs, gradually becomes dependent on them. Such mental and physical dependence on drugs is called as addiction. A drug addict cannot live without his regular dose of that drug. However, alternatives to drugs have been developed and an addict can save his life by accepting these alternatives. He can find family members, teachers, good friends and doctors to gain sympathy and help in solving his problem of addiction. The drug addicted persons can receive counseling and detoxification from a number of welfare societies as well.

Tobacco addiction
Chewing or smoking tobacco also causes addiction. There is nicotine in tobacco which is mainly responsible for addiction. It is highly poisonous substance and may cause cancer, heart diseases, ulcers, and serious dangers to pregnant women.

Alcohol is a chemical substance in liquid state. It is of two types- Ethyle Alcohol, and Methyle Alcohol. Ethyle alcohol is consumed as a drink. The methyl alcohol is highly poisonous. Wines, toddy, Handia, etc. are consumed in the form of fermented beverage having low percentage of alcohol in them. Brandy, rum, whisky, vodka, gin, etc. are distilled beverages that contain alcohol in high percentages. The habit and practices of consuming ethyle alcohol and alcoholic substances is called as alcoholism.

Handia is a country liquor of Jharkhand state of India prepared from rice after adding specific chemicals in it. A man can see tribal ladies selling handia anywhere in the city. Most of the time these women are seen selling handia at prime places for example near the residence of the Chief Minister and other Ministers, open grounds where people go for a morning or evening walk, near government offices etc. Since handia is not forcibly and legally banned in the tribal state people of all age groups consume this country liquor in Jharkhand.

Alcohol causes mental, physical, and physiological impacts on health even if it is taken in any form. It is readily absorbed into blood and is converted into acetaldehyde in liver. Thus liver synthesizes more and more fat and its tissues are gradually replaced by fibrous tissues. This condition of storage of fats in liver cells is called fatty liver syndrome.

Alcohol disturbs the power of judgment, co-ordination, alertness, vision, and behavior. It causes laziness in taking decisions. These are the reasons while drunken drivers are not allowed to drive vehicles.

Key Words: addiction, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gutkha, pan masala, hallucinogens, sedatives, narcotics, stimulants, tranquilizers, alternatives, smoking, nicotine, ethyle  alcohol, methyl alcohol, detoxification, vision, pregnant women, physiological impacts, psychological impact, fatty liver syndrome, cancer, alertness, fibrous tissues, morphine, heroines, opiate, handia, country liquor

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