Drug addiction: A great concern for human society

Drug Addiction! Of all the worldwide problems, the issue of drug addiction is at the top of list. For whatever reason, business or unknown causes the leaders of all the countries do not have nor do they seem to try to get this terrible problem under control.

Some famous areas related to drug business such as the Golden triangle, Golden crescent etc. have had a thriving drug business for many years and while some have attempted to get this business under control, no one has been able to eradicate this business.  Drug addiction   is now human catastrophe in every nation around the globe.  Once started, there is no way to stop it and it destroys every life that it touches

Drug addiction is a type of problem which is intimately related with our ways of development. Studies show that the more industrialization and urbanization, the more and more drug abusers we are having.  Because in these processes, more illegal substances are coming close to us easily. This easy access is the one the important causes of this problem which is increasing day by day.

In 2010, 5% of world population (around 230 million) was recorded as drug abusers who have taken drugs at least once in life. Among them 0.6% are problem drug users. Every year around 200,000 people die from drug addiction!

If these trends of drug abuse are not stopped, in 2050 25% of world population will be drug addicted and most of the abusers will be from developing countries.

 Think about it – there may come a time that many of our close friends and family may be one of the drug addicted sufferers very soon!


The following image show the world wide prevalence of IDU(illicit drug user)

Another image of trends of drug use:

So what are those things creating drug addiction?

These are a pattern of psychoactive substances that is causing damage to health. The damage may be either physical, mental or both.

Continuous use of such psychoactive substances (either good or bad intention) will gradually leads to tolerance to that drugs, then dependence and lastly completely addiction.


Lets me clarify tolerance and dependence:

Tolerance is a state in which after repeated administration, a drug produces a decreased effect or it needs increased dose to produce the previous same effect. For example, suppose, someone is taking Clonazepam for insomnia. Initially it needs only 0.5 mg per day but after repeated use of 1 month, now he need 2 mg tablet for sound sleep. So he has developed tolerance to clonazepam. 

And what is dependence?

It is a state of periodic or persistent intoxication, detrimental to the individual or to the society or both. And it has some characteristic features like

a. A strong drive or compulsion to continue the drug

 b. Development of tolerance, and

c. Physical and emotional dependence.  When a person is in the last stage of dependency, he is completely addicted!!


What are some of the substances used commonly that can cause drug addiction?

Some are illicit ( illegal)  substances and some are licit (legal) substances.

Illicit substances include:

  • Opiates: Heroin, morphine, codeine, pethidine (some has medical use too)
  • Cannabis: Ganja, Charas, Vang, Siddi, Marijuana, Nosshi etc
  • Benzodiazepine: Diazepam, nitrazepam, midazolam (have medical role but cannot be used without prescription)   
  • Amphetamine( have medical use)
  • Cocaine
  • Inhalant: petrol, octane, jet fuel, aerosol, nail polish remover etc
  • Mixed: Yaba tablet

Licit substances:

Tea, coffee, tobacco or tobacco products etc.


Image showing trends in prevalence of different drugs:

All statistical image source: WHO world drug report

What are the usual ways of taking drugs?

  • Smoking ,sniffing e.g. cannabis
  • Oral e.g. Alcohol, Benzodiazepin
  •   Intramuscular or intravenous e.g. morphine, pethidine etc


Addiction doesn’t occur overnight. It is a long term procedure. There are lots of influencing factors behind a person being addicted. We can categorize these factors in 3 broad heading.

  • Interpersonal factors: like friends incitement, peer pressure, interpersonal conflict, family disharmony, stress and strain of modern life, curiosity, enhance sexual performance etc.
  • Social factors: like easy availability, cultural influence, sociopolitical instability, pop music culture, absence of religious value, ignorance etc
  • Personal factors: like addiction prone personality, depression, anxiety, frustration, chronic physical stress etc  


We see that, almost all the factors lie in our society, in our family.  May be our very near one is being influenced by any one of these culprit factors but we are totally unaware. But if we become concern from the beginning, we can easily save our near and dear one. How can I predict that someone is addicted or going to be addicted??


You should look for the followings:

  • Wearing full shirt
  • Pathological liar, restless, stealing, home violence, street violence, mugging, and other anti-social activities.
  • Unable to sustain activity, education or profession
  • In most time they remain in high or euphoric or semi-stupor state
  • Denial is the one of the primary symptoms
  • Strong desire to continue drugs and to obtain it by any means

Actually drug abuser remains in vicious cycle. After taking one drug, they remain worried, anxious and restless for the next dose and so on.



Drug addiction is very common problem. To see a drug addict, we don’t need to travel far. We can find them in our own home. Though it sounds bad but it is so much true. One addict in a family is enough to destroy all happiness or dream from that family.  But our simple awareness, care, good and positive wishes and approach can save our dear one from being spoiled. Careful observation of our child, teaching them moral education, proper family and social support, proper guidance, application of suitable law and their implication can save our family, our dream, our society and our country.


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Hafizul Islam has written 7 posts in this blog.

I am a doctor!

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