13-2 AddictionsHumans and Addictions Who Gets Addicted?Human beings have always had a weakness It is true that some people get addictedfor consuming things that later become a faster than others. Some say it is due to ge-habit and they cannot stay without it. Among netic factors or the way the person’s bodymany things, they have thus smoked tobacco, is made up. But the truth is we do not know.chewed betel nut, drank liquor or abused Anybody can get addicted to anything.drugs. They take such substances because it When we are dependant on some substancemakes them “feel good” at first. Later, they and cannot do our daily work or cannot feelare unable to feel good unless they take the normal without taking this substance, thensubstance. we are addicted. No one is safe from any addictions. The only safety is to stay awayWe get addicted to these substances in two from it.ways: 1. Physically : Our body longs for the The number of things we get addicted to substance are many. We will learn about three things 2. Mentally : Our mind does not feel that are common around us: “normal” till we take the substance. 1. Alcohol 2. SmokingOnce a person is trapped between these 3. Drugstwo, escape is difficult.1. ALCOHOL (Drinking)Alcohol (drinks) has always been a part of traditional culture and customs. But unlike today,alcohol and other drugs were used only on special occasions and religious rites. These old tradi-tions and customs have broken down. Drinking and drug abuse have become huge problems inmany societies. Drinking is the cause of many people dying, family problems and childrenmalnourished. Drinking brings joy to the man but suffering to his wife and children !HOW ALCOHOL WORKSThere are five stages of intoxication (getting drunk). Each stage is more intense than the previ-ous one: 1. “FEELING HAPPY” : The person is sociable, relaxed, talkative, does not feel shy, can- not judge properly and cannot work properly. 2. “FEELING EXCITED” : Cannot think correctly and so, reacts slowly. The person loses control of own behavior. 3. “FEELING CONFUSED” : Unclear speech; walks with stagger; vision gets blurred or “sees double”; gets aggressive & moody 4. STUPOR : Unable to stand or walk; total loss of self-control; urinates (pisses) in pants; almost unaware of surroundings 5. COMA : Completely unconscious, especially when large amounts of alcohol are gulped quickly. At times, serious breathing problems, could result in death. It may be O.K to drink one or two glasses of liquor. DO NOT allow the liqour to drink your health away.
13-3 How Drinking Affects Our Body ALCOHOL ABUSE Liver Damage from Alcohol DAMAGES Alcohol is a poison. The liver works hard HEALTH to remove it from the blood. If the personThe liver drinks a lot over the years, the liver itselfLiver gets inflammed: becomes poisoned. The damage is more if - puffiness of face the person does not eat well. - general swelling but especially in the ankles Liver Cirrhosis - enlarged abdomen due to fluid collection - sleeplessnessThe heart - heart gets enlarged Swollen Veins (big) - palpitations Loss of Muscles - shortness of breath - lots of night sweating Yellow Skin - increased pulse rate Swollen Belly and blood pressure Dark UrineThe lungs - gets breathing diseasse White - chronic bronchitis and Stool (shit) pneumonia Swollen FeetThe Central Nervous System - confused thinking and speaking · Swollen Veins : The damaged liver is like a clogged filter. - decreased or loss of Blood cannot pass through it well, so it must find other ways memory to get back to the heart. Hence, one sees swollen veins in the body (especially from belly to chest) of an alcoholic.The Stomach - acute gastritis because · Swollen Belly & Swollen Feet : Since the blood is dammed up by the liver there is more pressure in the veins. Clear of increased acid pro- fluid from the small blood vessels begins to leak out and duction swelling of those parts happen. The damaged liver also fails - blood vomiting; loss of to produce protein normally and cannot prevent fluid from weight and loss of ap- leaking out of the veins, causing the belly and feet to swell petite up. - anaemia (very pale) · Loss of Muscles: Muscles of the body are mostly proteinThe brain and when liver is damaged, muscles are the ones that get - brain cells get de- wasted away. It makes the alcoholic look very skinny. stroyed · Yellow Skin: A sick liver also cannot remove bilirubin (a - brain structure yellow dye) from the blood. Hence, the alcoholic has a very changes yellow, jaundiced look. - blood flow to brain lessens · Dark Urine : The urine of the alcoholic is also very yellow. - blackouts- unable to remember what hap- · White Stool (shit) : On the other hand, the stool (shit) of an pened during a drink- alcoholic is white in colour. This is because bile from the ing period liver gives our stool its normal colour. In people with dam- aged liver, the bilirubin cannot be added on to the bile and hence, the bile does not have the colour to give to the stool and the person’s shit remains white. Alcohol helps you lose your body, your health, your money, your friends and family. It helps you lose all that is yours. STAY AWAY !
13-4 WHO HAS A DRINKING PROBLEM ? Do you know someone who: Drinks in order to get drunk ? Needs a drink as soon as he / she gets up in the morning? Feels an urge to get up at night in order to drink? Drinks until he / she finishes the bottle? Finishes up his / her drink before others have done so? Personality has changed ever since started drinking ? (become moody, irritable, hard to get along with, quarrelsome, easily angry, tense, forgetful) Has lost other interests (work , family, sports, music etc.) ever since he /she started drinking? Is cutting down on food because of alcohol? Is in really great money problem because of drinking? One or more “YES” answers show tell you that the person has a drinking problem. He need help quickly.How To Help A Person with a Drinking Problem ?First the person must himself realise that his drinking is a prob-lem ! He must realise that his drinking is harming his health andhurting the happiness of those around him.Once the person honestly accepts this and wants to do somethingabout it, then only they can be helped. Some are then able to sim-ply stop drinking. But most often people need help and support tostop. Family, friends and others who understand how hard it is tostop must help this person. The best to help are those who used to drink were heavily buthave stopped now. Talking to such people can inspire courage in alcoholics that they canalso give up.Drinking is not so much a problem of individuals as it is of the family and of the community. The community must be helped to realise this and thus help those who want to give up and change. As a health worker, you can organise a meeting to discuss the problem of alcohol in your community and what action can the community take. Women’s groups can be made aware of the need to tackle the problem of drinking among men since it usually affects women the most. It is very important to give correct information to young people in the community in the community as they will be the ones who will take up drinking in the future.
13-5 2. Smoking In most parts of the world, smoking of tobacco is a fairly recent custom. Since smoking has been proved to cause lung cancer, to harm unborn babies of women who smoke, and are generally dangerous to health, people in rich countries now smoke lesser than before. As a result, the big cigarette companies push their products in poor countries through lots of advertising and sales campaigns. As a result, more people in poor countries, even women, have started smoking. The World Health organisation has called smok- ing “the biggest preventive health problem in the world today”. Effects of Smoking Smoking Damages affects babies of pregnant children of women who those who smoke smoke eats into the family food budget India Goes Up in Smoke ! In the past 20 years, the average number of cigarettes smoked per person has fallen by over 40% in the United States of America. In India cigarette demand keeps increasing and hence, cigarette production. We made 91,413 million sticks of cigarettes last year and in 2001-2002 I is expected to cross 100,000 million sticks. 450 crores of rupees is spent every year on advertising tobacco products in India !! Over 2000 people die every day of tobacco related illnesses in India ! India spends 13,517 crores of rupees to treat nearly a million people dying of tobacco- related illnesses every year. (Hindustan Times)Every person who smokes is a walking advertisement for children to follow. Smoking in buses, trains, open spaces is banned and can lead to jail. Make sure that the law is followed in your area !
13-6 Smoking Your Health Away Smoking is Dangerous : a. To Your Own Health: Cancers : Smoking increases the risk of cancer of the lung, mouth, throat and lips. Lung Diseases : It causes serious diseases of the lungs – includ- ing chronic bronchitis. It is deadly for those who already have these diseases or have asthma. Ulcers : Smoking causes stomach ulcers or makes them worse. Heart Disease: Chances of dying from strokes or heart diseases increases among smokers. b. To Your Family’s Health Affects Children : Children of parents who smoke get affected. They have more cases of pneumonia and other breathing illnesses than those children whose parents do not smoke. Affects Non-Smokers : Those who do not smoke but have to take in the smoke of others who do, have a greater chance of getting lung cancer and heart disease. Affects Babies : Babies of mothers who smoked during pregnancy are smaller and grow more slowly than babies whose mothers did not smoke. Bad Example : Parents, teachers, health workers , leaders & others who smoke set a very bad example for children and young people. It increases the chance that they will start smoking too. Smoking Costs Money : Cigarette by cigarette, the costs add up to a lot. If money spent on tobacco are spent for food instead, children and whole families could be healthier. STOP SMOKING AND STOP OTHERS FROM SMOKING !You have a righ to breath clean air. Anyone who smokes when others object to itor where non-smokers are present, is breaking the law. Assert your right and tell him to stop. You can have a right to call the police if the person does not stop smoking even after your protesting.
13-73. Drug AbuseIn addition to smoking and alcohol (which are legal in most countries) , many people in differentparts of the world are using “illegal drugs”. Drugs & The Northeast region Drug Addiction Lead to : Drugs are a problem in society. In many of our northeastern states, self- neglect drugs are a menace. It has not only destroyed the lives of many of our young people but been the cause of much suffering in homes and society. With their minds altered due to drugs, youth have wasted their lives away. AIDS, the much-feared disease has come hand in hand with drugs and we always hear of crimes related to family problems, drugs. We must understand drug aggression and violence abuse better in order to help our young people and improve our soci- ety. Why Do People rise in crimes; thefts and Take Drugs? disorderPeople start taking drugs to escape thehardships, forget the hunger, or calmthe pain in their lives. But we see ouryoung people taking to drugs because: Diseases like it is the “done thing” and they HIV and AIDS have to “fit in” with their friends. out of boredom they are frustrated. they are curious to try out new things. Using Medicines as Drugs. they want to “feel good” and Even where “hard” drugs like heroin, opium, etc. do not know how else. are not easily available, some medicines are used for they take it because it is avail- drug abuse. In our country we can get many medi- able. cines over the counter from pharmacies. It becomes easy for young people to experiment and use themOnce a person starts, it is difficult to wrongly. The most popular medicines being abusedstop. If they try to stop, they become here in the northeast are cough syrups (makes youvery miserable, sick or violent. In or- sleepy and numbs your senses) and pain injections.der to get more drugs, they will oftencommit crimes, go hungry or neglect We need to educate our young people about thetheir families. Taking the drug be- problems of drugs abuse. But we also need to de-comes the MOST important thing. mand that there must be good government systemsThus, drug use becomes a problem for not to allow that medicines that can be abused to bewhole families and communities. sold without a doctors’ prescription.
13-8 Drugs Can Change How You Feel Drugs can be swallowed, injected, smoked, chewed or sniffed. Different drugs create different effects on the body and mind. Some drugs like alcohol, opium, morphine and heroin may at first make the person feel calm and relaxed, but later they will cause him to behave strangely, lose self-control and even become unconscious. Cocaine makes the person feel energetic and happy, but some time later he will feel tired, irritable and depressed. Yet some other drugs like marijuana, LSD etc makes a person imagine things that do not exist or create dream-like fantasies. Once you take these drugs, you can become “hooked” or addicted and will keep needing it.Our Youths Fall Into The Drug Trap Drugs and HIV/AIDSOne kilo of heroin costs one crore rupees! In the northeast, addiction through injec-Produced from opium (that comes from tion of the drugs into the vein is common.Poppy plant), it is banned by almost all Addicts are on the run all the time – theycountries. But the poor in poor countries hide in secret places where police, soci-farm this plant for some money and oth- ety and the militants cannot see. Sharingers sell it at very high prices outside. Since the syringe of drugs, there is no time andit is banned, it has to be smuggled out in no chance to clean the syringe. Alongsmall quantities. with it has come the HIV virus with the deadly AIDS disease. It has spread soFor this the dealers try to rope in young rapidly that an estimated eighty percentboys and girls who are ready to do the job of all drug users who inject are found tofor a small margin. Not only the dealer be HIV positive. The result is that HIVwants people to carry the drugs for him has spread rapidly and threatens the newbut it is in his interest that the same young generation.people use the drugs also. Young peopleare encouraged to “try out” the drug a cou-ple of times. Soon the person is “hooked”and unless s/he takes the next dose, the Violence & Drugs Cycleperson faces many symptoms like severe Many militant groups sustain theirheadache, giddiness, scary sounds and armed movements from the illegalimages, etc. The person now has to comes smuggling of drugs across borders ofback for more. countries. In most cases the security forces and border police look the otherThe dealer is now sure of the addiction. way for a margin. In fact, large smug-The next dose of drug is given only if the gling groups are said to favour militancyaddict gives cash, very often stolen from as it helps their business. To keep theirparents, friends and petty crimes. In some business going they need continued in-cases, in exchange for a dose, the addict stability and they spoil all attempts athas to do an errand for the dealer that is to restoration of peace. It is also the faultprocure or deliver the next batch of heroin of the government that they cannot bringto an address. Thus starts a never-ending peace. Prolonged instability has contrib-life of addiction. uted to the problem of Drugs in the northeast region.
13-9 Know the Answers ADDICTIONMark whether “right” or “wrong”1. Addiction is a disease which affects the person physically and mentally.2. Drinking is good for our liver and keeps our body healthy.3. Driking is avery easy habit to give up.4. Smoking is the least dangerous of all addicitons.5. People smoke only to get rid of their tension.6. Drugs is a habit only of the rich people living in cities.7. Drugs are needed by young people to make them feel good.8. Young people take drugs because it is freely available.Fill in the blanks:1. Common substances which people get addicted to are _________________, ___________ and _________.2. Addiction affects a person _______________, ___________________and ____________.3. The _______________is the most important organ to be affected by too much drinking.4. The most common medicines to be abused as drugs are _____________ and ___________.5. Injecting drugs are dangerous because it spreads the ____________disease.