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Substance abuse and the tale of a vagabond : Part II

Posted by Unknown Monday, 18 March 2013 0 comments
Substance abuse and the tale of a vagabond : Part I

13 July, 2010: It was a hot, humid afternoon. Except for the vehicles plying on the road, a deafening silence prevailed all around. There was hardly any trace of and individual who could be stripped off his possessions by Magan to purchase the drugs his body craved for. Magan started writhing with pain and trembling with anxiety as he failed to acquire his daily quota of booze and drugs. He started scrounging for old syringes, shoe polish cans, whitener enamel, adhesive solutions and rotten fruits in his bag. Most of them had either dried up or had already been used so many times that they could hardly provide him solace upon sniffing them. At last, he noticed a pedestrian approaching the subway he was dwelling upon, a tall, well-built man. The very glimpse of this man lit his eyes with brightness. After all he had a reason to cheer about, he had found his victim. 

Magan knew the fact that he could not harm the man physically so he tried a different trick. In haste, he descended to the feet of the man and started begging for money. On being offered resistance by his victim, he started screaming and pelting stones at himself and even threatened to cut his own veins with an old, rusted razor blade. The pedestrian had no alternative than to succumb to the desire of Magan. Perhaps, he did not wish any harm to betide him and parted with the money he had.

In a trice, the juvenile drug addict rushed towards a drug peddler who had been catering to the needs of such vagabonds from the lower strata of the society. Magan became ecstatic upon receiving his pudia (pack of narcotics) and started looking for an isolated corner where he could experience a euphoria moment.
Everyday Magan has been visiting bustling areas where activities like shoplifting and petty thefts go unnoticed or has been shunting around religious places where he could beg for alms. Even if he is caught by the Police and locked up in prison, his burglary cum arson gang wreak vengeance either by molesting innocent pedestrians or by threatening to commit suicide in the jail premises. This has exposed the Police to public scorn and have been severely criticised by the media for their lackadaisical approach in curbing this menace. Further, paucity of treatment and rehabilitation centres has resulted in the relapse of detoxified persons. Most of the juvenile drug addicts have either been abandoned by their families or have fled from different states in search of a livelihood. As a consequence, even if they are released from prison, they revert to substance abuse and crime. Their erratic behaviour and hostile circumstances compel them to enter this dark world all over again.

The need of the hour is to take cognisance of the magnanimity of this issue and respond with necessary remedial steps. Primarily, we need to develop more number of rehabilitation centres where drug addicts, especially the juveniles can be detoxified. These centres may be run by the government or by non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Secondly, the Police must crack the whip on drug peddlers and suppliers who are responsible for providing an easy access to the ‘substance’ and injecting this poison among the youth. It is necessary to strengthen security within the subways, on footpaths et cetera for the pedestrians and any complaint regarding the same must be taken seriously. Isolated areas of the city must be prevented from becoming a haven for drug addicts.

The menace of drug addiction must be stemmed at the grassroots level before it assumes such proportions as to leave us at a loss for a way to counter it.



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