Drugs are normally used for the treatment of disease on advice of a physician and withdrawn after recovery. A person who is habituated to a drug due to its prolonged use is called drug addict . This is called drug addiction or drug abuse.
A drug that modifies the physical, biological, psychological or social behaviour of a person by stimulating, depressing or disturbing the functions of the body and the mind is called addictive drug. These drugs interact with the central nervous system and affect the individual physically and mentally.
There are certain drugs called psychotropic drugs which acts on the brain and alter the behaviour, consciousness, power of thinking and perception. They are referred as mood altering drugs.
Persons who consume these drugs become fully dependent on them, they cannot live without drugs. This condition is referred as drug dependence.
• Physical and mental dependence Dependence on the drug for normal condition of well being and to maintain physiological state.
• Psychological dependence is a feel that drugs help them to reduce stress.
Adverse effects of drug use among adolescents are
· Drop in academic performance, absence from school or college.
· Lack of interest in personal hygiene, isolation, depression, fatigue and aggressive behaviour.
· Deteriorating relationship with family and friends.
· Change in food and sleeping habits.
· Fluctuation in body weight and appetite
· Always looking out for an easy way to get money for obtaining drugs.
· Prone to infections like AIDS and Hepatitis-B.
Management of de-addiction is a complicated and difficult task. The path to recovery of drug addicts is long and often slow.
Family members, friends and society on the whole have a very important role to play.
Detoxification: The first phase of treatment is detoxification. The drug is stopped gradually and the addict is helped to overcome the withdrawal symptoms. The addict undergoes severe physical and emotional disturbance. This is taken care by specific medication.
Psychotherapy: Individual and group counselling is given by psychologists and counsellors. The treatment includes efforts to reduce the addict’s stress, taught new ways to solve everyday’s problems, adequate diet, rest and relaxation.
Counselling to family members: Social workers counsell family members in order to change the attitude of rejection so that the addict is accepted by the family and the society.
Rehabilitation: They are given proper vocational training so that they can lead a healthy life and become useful members of the society.