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Drug Addiction


  • Cannabis preparations.
  • Effects of cannabis.
  • Stopping cannabis.


  • Why is it Abused?
  • How is it used?
  • What happens if you take Cocaine?
  • Cocaine Psychosis.
  • What can be done to help?

Addiction to alcohol or drugs is becoming more wide spread in our society. With rapid changes in our cultural norms and exposure to other cultures, drug abuse too has been showing an upward trend .Of great concern is the rapid increase in drug intake and misuse in our youth. After alcohol, cannabis is the most widely abused drug in our society. It is socially accepted at particular times like celebrations of Holi or Shivrathri when bhang and ganja are commonly used in some communities

Among students, Cannabis is often the first drug of use. Most of the students use it a few times and leave it while only a few continue long term use or progress to other hard drugs like cocaine, heroin and LSD.

Cannabis is illegally cultivated in remote areas. It has medicinal uses.

For example, it relieves eye pressure in glaucoma along with other tablets, it eases pain in cancer. In India, its use and possession is illegal.

Cannabis preparations :

  • Cannabis is abused in many forms. Some are mild preparations while others are very potent.
  • Bhang dried leaves and flowers of cannabis plant are boiled together and the decoction is mixed with milk or other liquids and consumed.
  • Marijuana dried leaves and flowers are smoked in cigarettes
  • Ganja more powerful than the above, ganja is smoked and prepared from the upper leaves and flowers of the cultivated cannabis plant
  • Hashish / charas Pure resin from flowering tops and leaves of the cannabis plant is made into a sticky brown cake which is usually smoked.
  • Liquid cannabis or hash oil is a more potent preparation. It is a brown syrupy liquid in which tobacco is dipped before smoking.

Effects of cannabis :

  • Whether smoked or consumed in any form, cannabis has an immediate effect on the mind and body.
  • Users experience dry mouth, increased hunger, redness of the eyes, and increase in the heart rate.
  • A feeling of relaxation and euphoria are common and is the main reason for repeated use
  • There is a general sense of well- being and happiness. Time seems to move slowly, smell touch and other sensations are heightened. For instance, people seem to perceive paintings in a different way, after smoking cannabis, music becomes more enjoyable, food tastes better. The effects will also depend on the settings in which cannabis is used.
  • Unwanted effects are also common like impaired memory or concentration. A “bad trip can lead to severe anxiety, suspicions,, confusion, agitation and aggressive behavior.

Stopping cannabis :

  • In terms of addiction potential, cannabis is not a very strong drug. Abrupt stoppage after prolonged and heavy consumption can lead to irritability weight loss, disturbed sleep and poor appetite. All these symptoms will diminish within 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Counseling, behavior therapy and use of certain drugs to relieve anxiety may be necessary in more severe cases.


  • Cocaine is a drug obtained from the leaves of Coca bush that is grown in mountainous regions of South America. Traditionally, the leaves along with a little lime were chewed, by People in countries like Peru and Bolivia. This had a mild stimulant effect and helped them to endure the hardships of daily lives by reducing hunger and tiredness.
  • It was used for medicinal purposes for many decades as it relieves pain and has anesthetic effects. This property made it a popular drug in treating pain for terminally ill patients.
  • The problems started when cocaine was extracted from the leaves and used for Recreational purposes.

Why is it Abused?

  • Cocaine is a powerful stimulant of the central nervous system. The person using it feels alert, Jovial, outgoing and has a great sense of well being this euphoria is what drives him to use it again and again. Many people stop after using it a few times for various reasons. They are worried about becoming addicted, they may not have easy access to the drug or the money to buy it, and they are concerned about the legal problems or losing control over their behavior. Only about 10-15 % of the users become addicted to it. Once this happens, their entire life revolves around getting the next ‘fix” whether they have to beg, borrow or steal to get this dose.
  • Those who inject the drug or who are always looking for new sensation or excitement in the life are more likely to get addicted to Cocaine.
  • Not long ago, Cocaine was the recreational drug of the rich and famous in the west. With the reduced cost and easy availability, it has become a widely abused drug among all sections of the society.

There are various methods employed by addicts using Cocaine :

  • It is Sniffed or snorted through the nostrils
  • Some addicts mix the powder with water and inject into the veins.
  • The powder is heated with baking soda and water to form a gel which is smoked
  • Precooked Cocaine in the form of small rocks is sold as ‘crack Cocaine. The spread of ‘crack has led to major problems because it is cheap and has an immediate effect on the brain often resulting in uncontrolled aggression.

What happens if you take Cocaine?

  • After using it in any form i.e., smoking, snorting or injecting, there is intense euphoria. A feeling of happiness and well-being that lasts for a short time. There is a rise of blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate and dilation of the Pupils.
  • Large doses will result in Arrhythmias (Heart rate abnormalities) and convulsions. Cocaine constricts the blood vessels and this can results in brain stroke. Repeated convulsions or respiratory failure can cause death.

Both are powerful chemicals, which affect the brain. While Alcohol is a depressant and cocaine a stimulant, they both in combination lead to loss of control over our behavior. The liver combines both Alcohol and cocaine to form a new substance called Coca ethylene, which can lead to death.

Cocaine Psychosis:
Well-being and euphoria are common effects of cocaine. Prolonged, heavy use can lead to the opposite effects. There is anxiety, restlessness and sometimes suspicions. The person hears voices talking or abusing him or he feels that there are insects' crawling under his skin. This can lead to itching, scratching and at times self-harm. Suicide rates are very high in Cocaine addicts.

Cocaine addicts.
What can be done to help?

Cocaine addiction is difficult to treat but with a combination of medicines, group therapy, counseling and Intensive Rehabilitation Programme, It is possible to overcome this addiction.