Wednesday, 01 July 2015 11:58

A drug filled past

I still vividly remember my friend breaking a blue pill and emptying its white powdery contents in a bowl. I watched him pour a minimal amount of water in it. He stirred it until it began to look like a solution. Then he flipped out a disposable van syringe from his pocket and wrapped the tip with a small piece of cotton. “Why do you do that?” I asked with curiosity. He replied “to prevent the solid particles from entering the syringe”. He then dipped the cotton wrapped tip in the whitish solution and started dragging it inside the syringe. I watched with fascination at his ingenuity, as the liquid slowly filled up the tube and reached the 5 ml mark. Pushing out the remaining air bubbles, he proceeded to “shoot the gun” in the most prominent vein he could find in his arm.
This was a true story of a friend who died of drug abuse and addiction while he was still a teenager, and all that happened when I was still in high school. The blue pill he used was none other than Spasmo Proxyvon, or SP. The “gunshot” (a lingo used among drug abusers) incident took place in a canteen inside the four walls of my high school. This showed the penetration of drugs deep into our society then and the menace of its abuse and life snatching consequences still haunt thememories of many parents in Manipur. I wasn’t left out either. Seeing my friends enjoying the kick, I too was tempted to try it out. “Only one shot. What harm will it do?” I used to think. A fortunate accident saved me from succumbing to my thoughts, when a teacher spotted us just when we were about to commit the act. I was immediately brought back to my senses. I cursed myself for even thinking about it. From that moment onwards, I decided to distance myself from such friends.
Others were not as lucky as I was. I had to watch two more of my friends throw away their lives to drug overdose. A few more years later, I received news of more deaths of my then friends. Drug abusers do die young; a fact I bet I know best in my present peer group. I often asked myself the reason why teenagers were attracted to the idea of abusing drugs during my days. Was it because of lack of entertainment options? The banning of Hindi movies began during that time. Hollywood movies weren’t screened either and Manipuri film industry was switching to digital format from celluloid. Listening to songs and watching music videos were the only options left. But that wasn’t interesting enough to spice up the teenage gossip world, except for some. Life was, in short, boring for young teenagers who were out to have some fun.
During the same period, from sources still disputed, cheap drugs in the form of blue SP pills and N10 tablets were flooding the underground drug market. A blister strip of 8 SP tablets was sold for as low as Rs. 40. N10 was a bit costly but it was compensated by its heavier and prolonged “kick”. The idea of having a “Pokhaiba (blast)” and not emanating any smell afterwards was extremely attractive. They seemed to have forgotten that drugs could be addictive in nature. Slowly it began to fill the void that was there in the then teenager’s life. And pretty soon it began to show its ugly and ruthless face.
Others may disagree with the reasons I gave for the pursuance of drugs by youth but then, that’s just one side of life that I saw in my friends. Our society is much more complex than that. Other people pursue drugs to overcome sadness and solitude arising out of failures and disappointments they came to face with, in their lives. Some succumbed to peer pressure; others just want to go to the next level of drugs. The list is endless and the reasons multifaceted in nature.
Today, the scenario seemed to have changed a bit, if not all. Our young population is more busy indulging in various social networking sites and apps. While many parents would complained that this is the new virtual drug and that their wards are getting spoiled with a smartphone in hand, I would say that this is a far more better alternative than having a vomit spewing drug addicted child.
With the slow but steady rise of the music scene in Manipur, both underground and mainstream, more and more youths are joining it, organizing concerts and actively participating at times. Unemployment is also on the decline and with that the joblessness attitude is slowly dissipating. Less and less people are getting involved in the drug racket.There are so many other things going on that I doubt such thoughts of indulging in drugs would have ever crossed their minds. Moreover, our society seems to have woken up from the ghosts of our suffering in the past and our collective psyche is rejecting the whole business of drugs.
All in all, the development in the city has brought about much change in the lifestyle of the youth however I feel the best is yet to come. We as youth are the biggest contribution towards the society and its future. So let’s join hands in completely killing the streak of drug abuse by working on it piece-by-piece each day. A little giving matters a lot.

Read 528 times Last modified on Wednesday, 12 September 2018 14:21

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