You are waiting for the traffic light to go green, you’re waiting in your lane and a young skinny man walks towards your car. His clothes are torn, his hair a tangled mess along with a scruffy beard, he’s covered in dirt and can barely talk. He asks you to help him because he hasn’t had food in a long time, but you don’t help. Why?

I believe that we have been conditioned to think that people, who look like the person that I’ve described above, are drug addicts and are asking for money just to buy junk for themselves. To some extent it is true, because I have seen people sitting in groups and injecting themselves with some intravenous drug. But why do people turn to drugs?

Solely based on my knowledge that I acquired from watching movies and TV shows, people use drugs to either numb the pain that was either caused by traumatizing past, perhaps abusive relationship or unfortunate death of a close relative, or loneliness, maybe a bad breakup that hurt you so bad emotionally, you have to take it to forget about all the good memories that you made with that person. It could be peer pressure, because you’re the most vulnerable person in the group and know that you don’t fit in, so in order for them to accept you and think that you’re cool, you decide to take a hit or two, or the fact that it is easily accessible, which in the case of celebrities we get to know once we read about them OD’ing. People get addicted to the medication that they are prescribed, the perfect example is Gregory House, a sarcastic, egoistic, exceptionally talented diagnostician who popped Vicodin like candy, to cope with the pain his leg was his after losing a thigh muscle due to an aneurysm.

As someone who has never consumed drugs, maybe I’m not qualified to talk about how it feels to have narcotics in your body, or what sensations one goes through when he consumes them, but as a layman who is on the outside looking in, the world of addiction seems scary. The fact that once the substance kicks it, it takes control over our brains and what might happen next, nobody knows. Sure you know what you might feel once you consume the drug, but people have lost their lives in the process and that is my greatest fear; being alone, under an influence of narcotics, slowly dying while my brain is too numb to ask for help. The high might help you deal with your troubles, but this temporary fix is not a safe approach in the long run. Thousands of people die each year from addiction to narcotics or abusing prescribed medication.

If we talk about Pakistan, one might assume that the use of drugs in our country would be low, but unfortunately the reports show that it is two to three times higher than that consumed in USA. One of the reasons for this is that people suffering from work or educational stress, marital problems or financial issues would rather pay to get access to the items than get profession help.

I am sure we all can understand that recovery from drug addiction is challenging and getting back in the society after being labeled as an addict is not easy, but giving up on yourself is not the answer. In today’s world, we have organizations like Pukaar that have professionals who are accepting and can help you with your struggles. You might not understand it right now, maybe taking drugs might seem like an easy way out, but somewhere down the line, perhaps in a decade or so, things are going to get out of control and you’ll wish you had prioritized your well-being.

Written By: Izza Raza

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