Drug addiction is not a recent problem in Bangladesh. But it has been rising. In recent years Drug Addiction has significantly increased in Bangladesh. This agent of human devastation has spread its tentacles worldwide and also in our country.
Every intelligent and humane person in the world society and international organizations such as the UN and WHO are alarmed by the present rate of addiction.
Nowadays nearly ten per cent of outpatients in our hospitals are cases of drug addiction involving heroin, ganja and phensidyl.
These are generally youths and young men between 15-30 years of age and come from all strata of the society. But there are adolescents below 15 years of age and men and women over 30.
Hospital surveys show that average age of drug addicts is 22. The addicts are students, professionals, businessmen, laborers, rickshawallahs and from other professions.
Students are most affected and drugs have caused deterioration in standards of education and students have also given up going to schools and colleges. Even university’s professors are getting addicted recently.
These addicts are turning to various criminal activities, in order to procure drugs.
What are Drugs?
World Health Organization (WHO) defines Drug; Drug is a chemical substance of synthetic, semi synthetic or natural origin intended for diagnostic, therapeutic or palliative use or for modifying physiological functions of man and animal.
Drug impacts directly influence the economic and social aspects of a country and physically to a human body.
Drugs are separated into two categories –
4. Glue, Hash etc.
There are many types of drugs available use in Bangladesh:
While, as an Islamic country, Bangladesh proscribes the consumption of alcohol, there is significant abuse of this substance. Porous borders with India and Myanmar permit trafficking in drugs and other contraband.
Cannabis(ganja) is still cultivated, particularly in the districts of Naogaon, Rajshahi, Jamalpur and Nerrokona in the northwestern region, as well as the hilly districts near Cox’s Bazaar, Banderban, Khagrachhari and Rangamati in the southeast (bordering Myanmar).
Reliable figures for the total area of cannabis production in Bangladesh are not available, but cultivation in the Chittagong Hill Tract region is reportedly on the increase.
The army and the Bangladesh Rifles in the southeastern hilly region have reported that the overall cannabis production has increased significantly in recent years.
Local alcoholic drinks are made in villages like Mymenshing, Banderban, Moulovibazar, Chittagong and even Dhaka.
Bangladesh is not believed to manufacture any narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances illicitly. It also does not manufacture any precursor chemicals except hydrochloric acid and sulphuric acid.
Bangladesh is a transit country for drugs produced in the Golden Triangle and, to a much lesser degree, the Golden Crescent. Reports from the Indian Narcotics Control Bureau also indicate that heroin is smuggled from India to Bangladesh through the porous Indo-Bangladesh border. There were seven seizures of heroin hidden in fresh vegetable shipments from Dhaka into the UK in 2003 (INCSR 2003). Dhaka airport and the seaport of Chittagong appear to be preferred exit points. Heroin seizures have been about 30-40 kg per year during the past four years except during 2000 and 2002. During 2003, law enforcement agencies seized 34 kg heroin, 1,906 kg ganja (cannabis herb) (ARQ 2003), 28,288 litres of Phensidyl®, 1,276 ampoules of pethidine and 2,898 ampoules of Tidigesic® (INCSR 2003).
Nonetheless, the smuggling in, diversion and abuse of pharmaceuticals originating from India is considered to be the largest drug problem in Bangladesh.
Reasons for Drug Addiction:
In brief the reasons determined through research, include :
1.Curiosity and excitement through use
2.Despair and frustration among the youth
3.Some patients are addicts because they try to follow the western culture of drugs and enjoyment of life
4.All drug addicts in our country are afraid of social stigma more than the threat from the law
6.Continuous failure in works
7. Easy access to drugs;
8. Unemployment problem/economic insolvency;
9. Surrounding atmosphere;
10. Estranged in love;
11. Mental stress due to family problem.
Drug addicted in percentage:
Peoples type Addicted in percentage
1. Male 93.9 %
2. Female ( in Dhaka city) 20.6 %
3. Unmarried 64.8 %
4. Either students or unemployed (youth generation) 56.1 %
5. Smokers 95.4 %
6. Influenced by friends 85.7 %
7. Addicted to codeine-containing cough syrup 65.8 %
8. Addicted to more than one drug 64.3 %
9. Took drugs in groups 65.8 %
10. A history of unprotected sex 63.8 %
Source: Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, 2004 (Vol. 22) (No. 1) 98-99
Sources of money for buying drugs:
1. From own income;
2. From pocket money;
3. Loan from friends, family members;
4. Collect money by criminal activities like hijacking, extortion, etc.
The impact of drugs has some stages, which effects in personal and social life:
The body relaxes and the mind feels fresh after taking drugs. If an addict cannot take it, peevish temperament occurs and he doesn´t wish to work or even talk. S/he feels fever, headache, itches in his body and sometimes vomiting also occurs. Most of the students of this group are frustrated and unhappy in their study life.
The most common drugs used in Bangladesh are stimulant drugs. More and more people are beginning to use them - middle aged people, old people, housewives and young girls, University’s student, even high school students (especially in English Medium student).
These teens are ignorant about drugs. Some of them can not tell the difference between stimulants and marijuana. At first they put the drugs into drinks. They don't even know which drugs are dangerous. It's easy for teenagers to get the drugs. They can buy them from friends who don't think it is wrong to sell them, or they can get them from some foreigners.
They buy drugs called "Speed, tiger, yaba" they knew it’s a type of Drinks or tablets which give refreshment to study and mind, which they don't think is dangerous. They don't realize that it really is dangerous. There are a larger number of young using drugs. According to the police- "In the last 3 or 2 years many more teens have been arrested for using drugs than ever before".
A drug abuser can undergo different stages of tasting apart from normal lifestyle in personally and socially or nationally;
1. Drug abuse can decay normal human senses through deep feelings;
2. It creates different types of excitement both in the body and mind;
3. Finally, it makes a person passionate to drugs;
4. In the long run the user has to increase the dose day by day;
5. Rapid weight loss of addicted person. Avoidance of any reply to your queries about weight loss . Get answers from them and keep under observation
6. Uncertain temper, loss of appetite, lack of sleep, hand tremors.
7. Regular onset of fever at a fixed time. Watery eyes.
Drug addiction beings on rapid erosion of educational and cultural, moral and family values. The addicts lose their professional and educational capabilities, self-dignity, and get involved in serious or petty criminal activities. The sole aim in life of an addict becomes the procurement and use of drugs.
Other aims and objectives in life are thrown by the roadside. Besides, dread diseases such as Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS can easily attack drug addicts through use of injectible drugs.
In our country, heroin is mostly smoked within aluminum foil or cigarette paper, but in other countries this is injected. Intravenous injection of pethidine/ morphine and now tadigesic brand of riknomar penic. These are extremely dangerous drugs and increases addiction manifold. Injections through infected needles can cause diseases of the liver, brain, heart, lungs and spinal cord. Normal medication also interacts with heroin and cause many complications, which many addicts do now know about. Such interactions may also cause e death.
Heroin addiction lowers mental enthusiasm and efforts and physical ability The addict loses contact with normal society and becomes self and drug-centered. He engages in all types of activities to obtain money to buy drugs. A Heroin addict may need about Taka 500 worth of the drug a day. He neglects the needs of the family, and those are non-earning may sell off family assets. They also go out on the streets for mugging and dacoity
Time is ripe for leaders at the highest level to wake up to the danger posed to healthy existence of society as more and more new addicts join the ranks of the hardcore ones. This slide must be arrested at all costs. The Drugs and Narcotics Department was created nearly two decades ago, especially to counter the production and availability of addictive drugs. But it has done little over the years to attain its given objectives. The corruption, allegedly, runs high in it.
Author's note: Ref:
1.http://www.unodc.org/pdf/india/publications/south_Asia_Regional_Profile_Sept_2005/08_bangladesh.pdf, 2.http://www.independent-bangladesh.com/stethoscope/drug-addiction-and-its-remedies.html, 3.survey of WHO and UN.