To begin with, I would like to congratulate UNODC and its volunteers for their campaign against drug abuse. Your efforts to make society aware of lethal consequences of drug consumption are indeed commendable. This is a higher form of service to society at large. Obviously it is due to ignorance that millions of people today are falling into the marshy trap of drug consumption.
In the instant context, I recall a true incident of childhood days of renowned scientist, Thomas Edison. The budding scientist observed that the birds sitting on a tree devoured worms and flew away with flutter. From that, he derived that the birds can fly because they eat worms. Inspired by his own derivation, he also collected worms and creeping invertebrate animals with slender bodies (no limbs), poured them into water, and coaxed his maid servant to drink the mixture. He, then, asked her to jump from the roof-top. The simpleton maid obliged her master. What happened? The poor lady fell on the ground and cried with pain.
Exactly the same is happening in the gloomy world of drug abuse. Those who consume drugs are not aware of its deadly consequences. All that they know is only fantasizing or the concocted conclusions of a few drug addicts or unlawful drug peddlers. Ignorance of the evil consequences and attraction of fantasy force them into consumption of drugs. As a result, they strut into the ditch of addiction. It is, therefore, essential to disseminate awareness in the society about deadly consequences of drug abuse. Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (DJJS) too, through its program entitled ‘Bodh’, is making people aware of the fatal consequences of consumption of intoxicating drugs and how these drugs slowly and steadily impact and damage the human body.
First of all, let’s analyse why and when does a person take to intoxicating drugs. Several reasons can be accounted, but primarily there are triggers. First, when a person succumbs to the peer-pressure. This, in turn, implies that he is utterly deficient in self-confidence and self-respect. From this, it can be inferred that his decision-making power and faculty of discrimination is weak.
The second main reason is one’s craving for a certain type of pleasure or happiness; a longing for such a fantasy and ecstatic feeling which he does not get from his daily chores. According to science, human body and brain work in a rhythm or remain in tandem in normal course. The two remain active on same wave-length. Occasionally, this leads to boredom or a certain kind of ennui. Sometimes, one may experience melancholy, stress, and pensive monotonous state of mind. He restlessly desires moments of excitement and state of extreme ecstasy. He longs for frenzied mania and flight of fantasy. He intensely desires the monotony of life to go away. The youth of today fondly calls it-‘feeling of high’.
Even the children today are crazy to experience such a fantasy that they play many choking games, children press a certain point in their neck fiercely. In the process, arteries carrying oxygen to the brain are obstructed. The moment blood circulation stops, they become unconscious of their physical body. A certain kind of euphoria is experienced by them. They call it “feeling of high”. A survey has revealed that this game leads to death of nearly one thousand children in USA every year. This extreme situation takes place because children sometimes resort to use of tie, a belt, or shoe laces and accidently strangle themselves.
Here, it would be pertinent to share with readers an anecdote of Mulla Naseeruddin. One day, Mulla ji was feeling very restless and unease was writ large on his face. One of his acquaintances asked – ‘What’s the matter? Are you feeling pain?’ Mulla ji replied – ‘No, my shoes are tight. That is why I am feeling discomfiture.’ Out of concern and surprise, the person said – ‘If you are feeling inconvenience, why have you worn these shoes at all?’ Mulla ji replied – ‘Sir, you will not understand. After bearing this pain the whole day, when I take off my shoes in the evening, the pleasure I experience is unprecedented and indescribable. In order to experience that pleasure, I wear these shoes all day long.’
The purpose of narrating these tales and anecdotes is that today in order to experience feeling of high or to get over monotony in life, people take recourse to such strange and stupid acts or even take extreme risks. Consumption of drugs is one such extreme risk and stupidity.
Here a vital question arises. Whether only moral education against drug-abuse adequate? Whether for an efficacious life, some tips, knacks, skills, and manoeuvring tactics alone are sufficient? Whether through such means we can realise the dream of a drug-free society?
It is a matter of debate whether through counselling, can we not stop people from taking such extreme risks or indulging in stupid acts. In ancient India, there was a king named Dhritrashtra. One of his statements is depicted in the Shantiparva of the epic Mahabharata as – “Our any such action which is against the interest of society or doing which we feel ashamed, should never be done.” Indeed, this was a great statement by King Dhritrashtra. But, the reality of mind-set of the king betrayed his wise statement. Out of his attachment, Dhritrashtra himself protected all wrong deeds of his son, Duryodhana. He safeguarded those evil deeds of Duryodhana which one’s true self (the Soul) would never vouchsafe and which laid the foundation stone for the fierce battle of Mahabharata.
In a similar vein, in howsoever effective and perfect manner we engrave on a person’s mind that drug consumption is injurious and fatal, but in reality, he is unable to stop himself when under peer-pressure or when enticed by the lure of fantasy. The heavy weight of high-profile ideals of mortality fail to hold sway over his little self and he succumbs to the invitation.
How can his ignorant steps be stopped? When will he not pay heed to the lure of intoxication? It is certainly not possible through verbal sermonizing. It can happen only when self-confidence and faculty of discrimination is awakened in him through practical experience of Divine Spark within his being. Only when he is blessed with the technique of filling his stressful moments with the blissful ones can he enjoy freedom from the deadly trap of drugs.
If you ask a person to part with his hut, even if it is bereft of comforts, he will never listen to your suggestion. But, if you barter his hut with a palace, he will gladly accept the offer. There will be no need for sermonizing him. He will jump with joy and accept the superior offer. Following this human psychology, we can wean away people caught in the trap of Drug consumption. The simple and sound logic is that when a person is offered a better option which is far superior and patently harmless, and which fulfils his craving for some ecstatic feeling, he will gladly and willingly accept it. He will readily extend his hand to be out of marshy land of drug-abuse, which is suffused with total harm to both body and mind.
(What is that spiritual therapy or strategy which can elevate a drug-user to a higher sense of satisfaction and endow him a perfect wisdom to say ‘NO’ when offered ‘DRUGS’? This will be covered in the next blog)…to be contd.