It is a well-known fact that every day there are at least one or two reports of drug dealers being caught in possession of drugs and arrested in our state. However, have you wondered that the lack of awareness of the consequences of drug addiction has a detrimental impact on a person's psychological and physical health, relationships, their lives, and can go so far that the person harms not only himself but also his or her family members and closed one?
The most important point which needs to be discussed here is about the drug addiction is it’s a disease and to tackle it there has to be some professional care.
Taking a step forward to counter this menace, one of the premier higher educational institutions of the Northeast region Pragjyotish College in Guwahati on Friday came up with an important session on Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan, organised by the district social officer, Kamrup Metro (M) in collaboration with Sadichsa and the department of history.
Speaking on the occasion, prinicipal of Pragjyotish College Manoj Kumar Mahanta said, “This is a very important topic to be discussed thoroughly. It is a collective responsibility of us all to restrict this menace. I was going through a survey report which says almost 30 lakh both boys and girls at the age group of 10-17 years old are nowadays addicted to alcohol. Not only this, I am shocked by the figures which were determined by a National Survey conducted in 2018. As per the report, around 20 lakh individuals (10-17 years old) both boys and girls are addicted to cannabis. Similarly, around 2 lakh individuals are addicted to Cocaine. This is very shocking figure.”
The principal also expressed satisfaction over no cases of drug abuse being detected inside or outside the campus of the Pragjyotish College campus.
However, he also shared an experience about a student from the college who was found to be addicted to drugs due to some domestic concern two years back and recently appeared in his semester exams after a proper rehabilitation.
He also stressed on addiction of eating ‘Pan masalas’ or ‘Gutkha’ amongst the college going students.
“Eating "Gutkha" or "Pan Masalas" is no different from taking drugs. I have completely banned consumption of any such substances inside our college campus. I have also imposed penalties of Rs 2,000 on students for eating and spitting ‘Pan Masalas’ inside the campus. Two students were also expelled earlier,” added Principal Manoj Kumar Mahanta.
Senior Journalist Pranay Bordoloi who was also invited as a guest speaker at the session urged the students to focus more on sports and adventure related activities.
“Eating, Sleeping shouldn’t be the only activities to be given more preference, every individual must think about doing activities which are beneficial for him/her, family and the society. Being a human, this is our responsibility. There has been an extensive publicity amongst the current generation of not only drugs, but cigarettes, pan masalas, alcohol, etc as well. Our state records highest numbers of patients suffering from mouth cancer, why this is so? Our people are more influenced and exposed to ‘Tambul Pan’ (Betel leaf and Betel Nuts), Pan masalas,” said Pranay Bordoloi.
Another guest speaker who was a government employee in the health department, however, addiction to drugs receded from him his job and his life as a whole. Now, saying no to drugs and transforming himself through Bhagavad Gita, he has started a new life.
Motivational Speaker and administrative in-charge on officer for Sobriety Foundation, Siddhartha Pratim Dutta spoke about his journey with Bhagavad Gita, he said, “Today, I have completed my 10 years of sober life and by the grace of god, I got the chance to stand and deliver a speech on drug addiction. I was a good student; I passed out from Sanik School Goalpara which was a much disciplined. I was never exposed to drugs or alcohol or any other substances in school days, but, after I came to Guwahati for higher studies, I found people of the city very different. I started to consume alcohol while pursuing graduation. Addiction is a progressive disease and it had impacted my life. One must also note that once a person develops powerlessness and unmanageability upon himself/herself over alcohol, drugs or any other intoxicated substances, he can be termed as addicted.”
Dutta in the later years went to Kolkata for medical treatment, till then, he had already lost his government job.
“I met a person in Kolkata who gave me a Bhagavad Gita and asked me to read it saying that my addiction will go away. I was confused, after I came back to Guwahati and read the first chapter of the Gita out of the 18 and found that the book has all the solutions of life. Today, I have my own business; I run a diagnostics centre, pharmacy and also a treatment centre in the city. I also have two TV shows where I speak about Bhagavad Gita, the programmes are aired in two private satellite channels in the state. So this is transformation,” added Dutta.
Meanwhile, Limpi Bhuyan, a psychological counselor, who has done her specialization in psychotherapies, child psychology, geriatrics and substance de-addiction counseling and management spoke about how intoxicated substances become a part of our life emotionally, psychologically and physically at the programme.
She also differentiated between ‘use’ and ‘abuse’ and ‘addiction’ in her speech.