Nowadays, drug addiction is rising alarmingly in the whole world. Even in a South Asian developing country like Bangladesh, It is increasing at an epidemic rate. A survey in Bangladesh shows that every day about 10% of the patients visiting the health care centers or hospitals are suffering from health complications related to drug addiction.
Drug addiction in Bangladesh is becoming so common that it’s time to take a look at the current socio-economic condition due to drug addiction.
So, let’s take a look at the rising drug addiction problem in Bangladesh and try to find its root cause. Then let’s see if there’s any way to prevent such an epidemic problem.
What’s Drug Addiction?
Drug addiction isn’t just a social problem. It’s a very complex neurobiological disease that affects the whole body especially the brain. Regular use of drugs can change the way the brain works and make it dependent on the harmful chemical ingredients the drugs contain.
The first attempt at taking drugs is mostly voluntary. Most people start taking drugs thinking that they can control the way their brain works. But when they start taking it regularly, it damages their will of control. They find it very difficult to ignore the urge of taking the drug again. Over time, it starts to damage their body functionality. They feel like their body doesn’t function properly and they can’t do their respective works if they don’t take the drug. This dependence on the drug is what drug addiction is.
Drug addiction is mostly permanent. It affects the brain and physical activates for a long time.
How Do Drugs Affect the Brain?
Your brain tends to make you desire to repeat experiences that make you feel good. The drugs target this rewarding system of the brain. They release dopamine in the brain as a rewarding system. Dopamine is a chemical that occurs naturally in the human body that’s involved in reward, learning, motivation, and happiness. When dopamine is released in your brain you will feel immense pleasure.
That’s why most of the drugs affect the rewarding system of the brain by releasing dopamine. It’s so that your brain will make you repeat the same thing so that you can experience the same pleasure again.
Once your brain gets used to the level of dopamine, Drugs are medicines or substances that have a psychological effect on our body when consumed or ingested into the body. Drugs can be categorized into 2 types. Hard drugs and soft drugs. Amphetamine, cannabis are examples of hard drugs where soft drugs are alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, heroin and so on.
it will require more dopamine to give you the same pleasure. At the same time, other activities that used to give you pleasure in the past won’t provide the same pleasure anymore. So you will try to increase the dose of your drugs. That’s how there’s a permanent change in the brain making it depend on the drugs.
Available Drugs Behind Drug Addiction in Bangladesh
Drugs are substances that have a psychological effect on our body when consumed or ingested into the body. Some drugs such as alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, heroin, etc. cause physical addiction where some drugs such as Cannabis, Mescaline, etc. don’t show physical addiction but lead to psychological dependence in the future.
Carew and Co Ltd. (BD) is the only licensed company that can sell wine in Bangladesh. Any kind of drug rather than their wine is completely illegal here. Yet, some dishonest dealers are supplying drugs illegally making it available throughout the country.
Drugs that are available in Bangladesh are-
- Cannabis (Marijuana)-
- Yaba (30% Methamphetamine & 70% Caffeine)
Signs of Drug Addiction:
Though drug addiction is different in different people, there are some common signs that most drug addicts show.
- An urge to take drugs regularly.
- Can’t stop taking drugs even if it shows clear side effects.
- Loss of self-control.
- Loss of appetite.
- Spending less and less time in important activities.
- Preferring to spend time alone and being bothered by companies.
- Feeling sick and unproductive without taking drugs.
- Body not functioning properly in the absence of drugs.
- Going out of one’s way and taking great risks to obtain drugs.
- Bad temper and being pessimistic about everything.
- Increasing the dosage to feel the same amount of pleasure.
- Lack of ethics.
Victims of Drug Addiction in Bangladesh
It’s found from a survey that the average age of the victims of drug addiction is 22 in Bangladesh. Almost 56.1% of drug addicts here are students and young adults. Because of peer pressure from the educational institutions and stress of unemployment, these people are seeking relief from drugs. This drug addiction is lowering their education standards and leading to increasing the number of unskilled citizens.
Besides the young generation, drug addiction is also seen in older men. It’s mostly due to past practice of taking drugs. Most of them started at a young age and never left it.
Though drug addiction isn’t as common in women in Bangladesh. But in Dhaka city, there is a good number of female drug addicts, where most of them are students. This drug addiction leaves a permanent effect on their health.
Rate of Drug Addiction in Bangladesh
A recent survey shows that most of the victims of drug addiction are male citizens. All the information we have found from this survey is given below.
- Male – 79.4 %
- Female – 20.6 % (Only in the capital city, Dhaka)
- Unmarried – 64.8 %
- Students and young unemployed citizens – 56.1 %
- Smokers- 95.4 %
- People that started taking drugs from the Influence of friends- 85.7 %
- Addicted to a cough syrup containing Codeine- 65.8 %
- Addicted to multiple drugs – 64.3 %
- Took drugs in a group- 65.8 %
Causes of Drug Addiction in Bangladesh
In recent years, drug addiction has increased at an alarming rate in Bangladesh. What are the causes behind such drug addiction? Let’s take a look.
·Family History and Troubled Relationships:
In the last few years, the divorce rate has increased very rapidly. Young people with such relationship troubles or broken families go through loneliness and suffer from mental stress that sometimes leads to depression. When they feel depressed, they tend to seek some sort of imaginary peace in drugs, hence fall victim to drug addiction.
·Peer Pressure from Educational Institutions:
The educational system in Bangladesh is very strict. Some people can’t cope up with such a system which leads to failures. When they fail in studies, they suffer from depression and start taking drugs. It’s increasing drug addiction among the young generation.
Another big cause behind the increasing drug addiction problem in this country is unemployment. As it’s a very overpopulated country, there are fewer opportunities for employment compared to the number of adults. This employment issue is raising the frustration in adults which is leading to drug addiction.
·Influence from Friends:
Most of the young boys start taking drugs from the influence of friends. They start as a one-time experience. But when they experience the dopamine release, they come back to try it out again. This urge of feeling the harmful pleasure from drugs results in permanent drug addiction.
·Easy Access to Drugs:
Years back, young people used to find it difficult to get addicted to drugs due to their availability. But nowadays, there are drug dealers everywhere and they are targeting the young generation. Young people get to buy drugs from them at a cheap price anytime they want. This is the root cause of why drug addiction has increased so much in recent years in Bangladesh.
Drug addiction is now everywhere in Bangladesh, be it streets, slums, houses, workplaces, parks or even educational institutions. All parts of the society in Bangladesh is highly affected by it directly or indirectly.
This drug addiction has a great impact on people. It has physical, mental, psychological, social, socio-economical, and national and so many more effects that you can say its effect has no bounds. The spread of such a problem is giving birth to social problems as its increasing violence and crimes. Even people who are not directly related to drug addiction is facing its effects indirectly. Having a drug addict in the family is like a curse because of his hostile and uncooperative behavior towards the family members. The family can’t keep up their normal activities due to such behavior.
Young people who are falling victim to drug addiction are dropping out of their educational institutions. Workers can’t continue to do their respective works properly. In short, if drug addiction isn’t prevented it will paralyze the whole country.
The increasing rate of drug addiction in Bangladesh is now catching everyone’s attention. There are campaigns all over the country that are bringing up the harmful effects of drug addiction in front of everyone. There are also laws that if anyone is seen smoking in the streets they are fined by the traffic police. The Narcotics Control Department is monitoring the spread of drugs and taking steps to prevent it. Moreover, there are drug addiction treatment centers establishing in every locality. Some of them are even offering free counseling to drug addicts.
Hopefully, in the near future, Bangladesh will be able to get rid of the curse of drug addiction.