Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Drug Addiction Gives Rise to Social Evils

The issue of drug production and addiction persists as one of the most serious evils within Afghan society. Though there have been many instances when Afghan media and civil society and even some national and international institutions have tried to divert the attentions of the relevant authorities towards the issue, little has been done to solve the issue and the result is deterioration in the situation to a further extent.
Afghanistan's ministry of counter-narcotics on Tuesday, December 06, said in a statement that there are over a million young Afghan male and female youths who are drug addicts. The total number of addicts in the country is estimated to be about 3.5 million and three percent of them constitute women. The minister of counter-narcotics, Salamat Azimi said that those suffering from addiction in some way escalate violence within their families and affects women and children.
Drug addiction, at first, victimizes the addict. The drug addict not only endangers his own health, wealth, happiness and social relations but also destroys public morale, health, safety or welfare of the family and society as a whole.
The drug addicts become dependent upon the drugs in a short duration with gradual increase in the intensity of its use. It is generally believed that the dependence on drug is favored more by regularity of administration or the doze or method of administration. The addict becomes dependent on drug as he is on food. Furthermore, so long as he receives the usual daily supply he does not apparently look as an addict. Even the intimate friends and the members of the family may not notice this habit. However, if an addict does not get the daily supply, clear symptoms known as withdrawal or distress of abstinence symptoms will appear within 10 to 12 hours. The addict would become nervous and restless and might develop acute stomach cramps and his eyes might water and nose run. Later on, he might stop eating and start vomiting frequently, lose weight and have muscular pains in the back and legs. At this stage the addict may develop shakes and at this stage if he does not get the supply he is in for mental and physical torture. The addict would go to any length to get the supply of drug to relive the suffering of withdrawal distress. Once he gets the drug, he would appear normal again.
This physiological and psychological dependence on drugs, with the stage being set for the withdrawal syndrome, makes the addict a serious problem for himself, the family, friends, peer group, relatives and the society at large. As the tolerance of drug is developed by the addict more and more supply is taken to relieve the physiological and psychological symptoms of withdrawal distress. In this way, habit is established, which becomes very difficult to break. 
And, once the addict is totally into the drugs, the miseries start visiting him frequently. Unfortunately, the misery does not remain confined to him alone. He can then transfer the same addiction to others. As, he is not committed or fails to commit to leave drugs, he may urge others to use it, particularly those who are his friends or in his company. It can be observed that mostly the addict practice the use of drugs in form of groups as the groups use may facilitate them even further.
Drug addicts can, afterwards, create many other social issues. Their family lives are disturbed and their relatives are influenced by them to a large extent. If the addicts are married and have children the repercussion may break the whole family. The wives of the addicts mostly suffer the most – they are beaten, their money is stolen and their whole lives are made a hell by their addicted husbands. Their children, on the other hand, remain without facilities and mostly grow up in the atmosphere of violence and discomfort.
Considering the influence of the drugs on the people in our society, it is imperative to design some effective measures to control the situation. Historically speaking, many efforts that were made to treat addiction in the past proved to be unsuccessful. Such efforts were mainly confined to medical and clinical treatment, or punitive measures through law and confinement of the addicts in the prisons.
It is important to design other means to solve the issue. Most importantly, the addicts should be considered as human beings and not criminals or the rejected class of population. They deserve sympathy, love and affection rather than hatred or rejection. They should be treated as patients rather than deviants for the purpose of their rehabilitation into the normal society. The solution must be perceived in the right perspective as it takes place in social situation of primary groups and its solution be sought in the social interaction.

It is very well-said that prevention is better than cure. The teenagers must be watched with great care that their needs, feelings and social requirements are met by the primary groups in a desired and acceptable manner. They may not bank on negative primary peer groups for the unmet social, economic, political and emotional needs. This is the locus of the point that interaction groups of the teenagers should be such that they produce normal and trouble free individuals.