Addiction to alcohol and drugs today, is a problem that has beset the society at large. It is not an “it cannot happen to me” or “it cannot happen to us “scenario any longer. It could be someone in your neighborhood, friends, relatives, family, or that someone can even be you!
Gone are the days when a person would consume alcohol to enjoy the taste, the drink, and the good feel it leaves behind.
The current young generation are the ones that live on the fast track, the ones for whom the world is in the palm of their hands with smartphones and the internet. Families are nuclear and the pocket money large, the time spent as a family is lesser, dysfunctionalities abound.
The youth get into experimenting with drugs and alcohol. In the past, it was macho/cool to be smoking a cigarette, today if you don’t smoke a joint or drink you are a nerd and uncool.
The norm is to drink to get drunk. children are getting into substance usage from the age of 15 or 16 and these are through all strata of society. A young patient of mine who would get “smashed” over the weekend with his group of friends told me “what is the fun in drinking doc if one does not get drunk every single time?”
Is the society today enabling increased consumption of alcohol and drugs? Alcohol is not advertised overtly as per the law of the land. However, subliminal marketing in the form of the alcohol brands selling other products like mineral water or soda, etc is advertised. There is a new watering hole opening every day. Consumers are enticed with happy hours wherein unlimited drinks are served at a minimal price. This target the youth who have limited monies in their pocket. At the same time in some places, there is talk of prohibiting alcohol. This leads to hoarding stocks of alcohol, encourages black marketeering of the same, thus leading to an increase in criminal activities and consumption.
Sadly, thus, the youth of today who drink to get drunk are in grave danger of being potential alcoholics.
The way forward is to increase awareness among-st youth regarding addiction and addictive traits and to share the solution of an alternate life beyond drugs and alcohol.
We at AH facilitate such awareness programs .