UNDERSTANDING THE DARK WORLD OF DRUGS
As an undergrad student, I have been exposed to many conversations which includes curiosity towards drugs, alcohol or smoking. As a teenager living far from home, there have been many instances where I have seen and heard people talk about their first experience with these substances and also slipping into using them on a daily basis. On asking them a question as to why they use these substances, which clearly are not good for their mind and body, the answer I get most often is : ‘It helps me get clarity and escape stress that they are dealing with.’ But how can that be an excuse for exposing oneself to such harmful drugs? Let us know more about it.
A drug is any substance that causes a physiological or psychological change in a person’s body. Drugs are usually used for medical purposes but there are also the kind of drugs which are used for pleasure rather than medicinal purposes. They come under the category of ’Psychoactive Drugs’. These drugs affect the function of the central nervous system (CNS) and alter mood, consciousness and perception. These drugs can cause psychological and physical addiction.
People often use psychoactive drugs to avoid pain and attain pleasure, which comes with its set of short-term and long-term damage. Few of the dangers attached to these drugs are:
1) Withdrawal symptoms
2) Heart defects
3) Risk of suicidal thoughts
4) Worsened mental health
5) Violent behaviour
6) Abuse and addiction
7) Poor immune function
8) Chronic health defects
9) Problems in conception
10) Alterations in brain development
We are used to watching celebrities smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol on that big screen. Have we wondered about how these scenes in movies glorify substance abuse? When teenagers or even adults watch their favourite celebrities smoke they do not think of its adverse effects, all that they think is how glamorous they look doing it, which plays a very important part in that individual taking a step closer to these harmful substances. What these movies don’t show is the uglier side of the intake of these harmful substances and that is why despite putting warning signs on cigarette packages people consume it.
Watching different musings on cigarettes and alcohol, different media platforms have presented these substances as a method to overcome grief and loss. We may have read poetry, watched performance poetry and even read Instagram quotes that look aesthetic on our feed, all glorifying substance abuse.
As the world hustles into becoming fast-paced, it is making our lives more and more stressful. To escape this reality some people choose recreational drugs as their escape mechanism and are inviting many long term illnesses to their bodies.
The first experience of people with these substances is generally their ‘friends’ who pull them into trying it which often becomes an addiction later on. Social media and peer pressure are the major two causes that lead to people choosing to smoke their first cigarette or have their first drink.
How much ever drinking, smoking or snorting looks fascinating from the outside to some people we should understand and make people understand what they are putting at stake by the overuse of such substances. There are many other ways to release stress and maintain a peaceful life and they include:
1) Deep breathing
2) Regular exercise
3) Walking in open spaces
4) Balanced diet
5) Taking breaks
6) Developing a hobby
7) Talking to someone
8) Having family time
1) Seek support groups (offline and/or online)
2) Meet a mental health professional
3) Strong will power (it may sound too simple, but it’s very important)
4) Constantly keep thinking of all the benefits of quitting
5) Use a diary/app to track your progress and note your thoughts
6) Completely cut off people or ‘friends’ who use/ share substances with you
We should always remember that nothing in this whole wide world is worthy enough to mess with our mental health and there is no easy way to tackle it either. We have to be strong mentally and jump over all the hurdles that come our way.
Prevention is better than cure. So, if you’re someone who’s never taken drugs, please don’t start now, even if it looks cool in the movies. It’s not worth it.
If your life has already been harmed by this deadly addiction, remember that any so-called ‘pleasure’ you get from these substances is just a temporary escape from reality. Life is sometimes hard, but it’s not worthless. So please don’t destroy your own life. If you need help, it’s available. And most importantly, throw out any so-called friends from your life who drive you towards these substances, this very moment. Period.
Small steps we can take for people with anxiety to help them deal with it better