Illicit drugs most definitely are a global problem. From the farthest reaches of Africa, to the middle east and of course here in western civilization, all societies have a problem with drugs. The Punjab region of India is a textbook example.
According to ndtv.com, in this village not far from the Pakistani border, drug addicts like Pargat Singh are crouched in the shadows, injecting themselves with cocktails of synthetic drugs.
Many o9f the decrepit buildings act like “crack houses” where cracked prescription bottles littered the ground. The other man jabbed a syringe into his arm and injected a blend of prescription drugs that delivers a six-hour high.
Singh knows he is in God’s waiting room and continues to inject his body with lethal chemicals. He is both HIV positive and stricken with tuberculosis. They share needles.
Throughout the border state of Punjab, whether in villages or cities, drugs have become a scourge. It affects children as young as grade-schoolers. Opium is prevalent, refined as heroin or other illegal substances. Schoolboys sometimes eat small black balls of opium paste, with tea, before classes. Synthetic drugs are popular among those too poor to afford heroin.
How Bad is the Problem in Punjab?
The scale of the problem is undeniably immense and worrisome. India has one of the world's youngest populations, a factor that is expected to power future economic growth, yet Punjab is already a reminder of the demographic risks of a glut of young people. An overwhelming majority of addicts are between the ages of 15 and 35.
The Punjab government is aware of the problem and is just trying to figure out how to deal with it.
Private drug treatment centers, some run by quacks, have proliferated across the state, and treatment wards in government hospitals have seen a surge in patients. Three years ago, a state health official warned in a court affidavit that Punjab risked losing a whole generation to drugs. Roughly 60 percent of all illicit drugs confiscated in India are seized in Punjab.
India's Election Commission said that some political workers were actually giving away drugs to try to buy votes. More than 110 pounds of heroin and hundreds of thousands of bottles of bootleg liquor were seized in raids. During the elections, party workers in some districts distributed coupons that voters could redeem at pharmacies.
Meanwhile, Singh and many others continue to ruin their lives with drugs. India needs to step up and start educating its public on the dangers of drugs. The government needs not to distribute drugs, but help keep them out of the public’s hands. Drug education classes and other resources are necessary to right the ship.