Why does a person become a drug addict?
The answer is that he or she usually does not intend to become an addict. You don’t wake up one morning and decide to be a drug addict. It takes at least three months’ shooting twice a day to get any habit at all. And you don’t really know what junk sickness is until you have had several habits. It took me almost six months to get my first habit, and then the withdrawal symptoms were mild. I think it no exaggeration to say it takes about a year and several hundred injections to make an addict.
Several questions, of course, could be asked: Why did you ever try narcotics? Why did you continue using it long enough to become an addict? And one can also be judgmental: You have become a narcotics addict because you do not have strong motivations in the right direction. Junk won by default.
From my personal experience, I tried it as a matter of curiosity. I drifted along taking shots when I could score a high. I ended up hooked. Most addicts I have talked to report a similar experience. They did not start using drugs for any reason they can remember. They just drifted along until they got hooked. If you have never been addicted, you can have no clear idea what it means to need junk with the addict’s craving. You don’t decide to be an addict. One morning you wake up sick and you’re an addict.
The real problem lies in governance, or the lack of it, since the Punjab government is not serious about tackling the issue of drug trafficking and has not been setting up rehabilitation centres, nor providing training and jobs to the youth. To curb the drug menace, one needs to curb both the supply and demand for illicit drugs by clamping down strongly on the nexus between the suppliers, smugglers, illicit traders, law enforcement, politicians and the government, and by helping addicts recover through compassionate and comprehensive rehabilitation programs, besides running social awareness campaigns in every single school, college and on mass media. In the absence of these, the youth of Punjab are falling into the trap of drug abuse easily. And that, in summary, is the crux of the huge drug problem in Punjab, which is ruining the present and the future of the youth of Punjab, and for which the present government will have to answer in time.