TO READ THIS ARTICLE ON TIMESNOWNEWS CLICK HERE
- Many celebrities have opened up about drug problem, addiction and overdose, both overseas and in the country
- 31 August is celebrated as International Overdose Awareness Day
- Our medical expert, Dr Era S Dutta talks about how the society can help eradicate the drug problem
What is common between Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, Heath Ledger, Jim Morrison and Michael Jackson? Other than the glaring fact that they were all superstars of their given fields, they all died of a drug overdose. Younger stars like Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato also spoke about drug addiction and overdose, when Lovato was hospitalised in 2018 after a drug overdose. Closer home, actors like Sanjay Dutt have spoken openly about the problem, and it was even highlighted in movies like Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt Starrer Udta Punjab, and Sanjay Dutt’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor, Sanju.
It was recently reported that another youth passed away in Monga, Punjab, due to drug overdose. Deaths associated with the problem are on a rise, and among many factors that contribute to the problem, ignorance about the issue is an important one. 31st August each year is celebrated as International Overdose day. As a mark of support, a silver colour ribbon is worn.
In India, the awareness for overdose is quite less, as is the norm that if someone commits suicide it is often written off as “an accident” or at times not even reported correctly. In such times, speaking openly about drug usage that is rampant in not only states like Punjab, but other states like Mizoram too.
An overdose is when a person takes drugs like opioids, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines in quantities that the body cannot handle. The brain then begins unable to carry out the normal functioning as these drugs in overdose dull the brain out. The person may pass out, stop breathing and in extreme cases, have heart failure or experience convulsions.
An accidental overdose can be fatal, and it is one of the most common causes of death among opioid users.
In the recent past, nearly 60 deaths linked to drug abuse occurred in Punjab between January and June 2018, according to official estimates. In comparison, 30 people died in drug-related incidents in all of 2017. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi conducted the first comprehensive study in 2015 to estimate the magnitude of drug addiction in Punjab – and the report concluded that there were more than 200,000 addicts in the state.
What can we as a part of this society do to reduce and stop this menace? To start off, it is important to educate and know more about drug overdose. Keeping quiet and not discussing important issues, because we think it may never affect our families, is not the right call. Talk about drug misuse with your loved ones. You would be surprised to know how common it is. Drug addiction and overdose like any other illness is treatable with the right help.