Mind Trending
Everything u need to know about drugs

Dr C Rajesh Reddy

MBBS, MD, DM (Neurology)

4 min read


How do we draw the line between recreational usage and abuse? How do people understand this? It’s important to discuss the dangers of drug addiction, the harmful health issues and psychological effects of drugs. Peer pressure, relationship losses, performance related issues and experimentation can lead to substance use. To address this issue, a guide drawing the line between ‘recreational use’ and ‘abuse’ is much needed. A proper information system with rules in place can satiate the curiosity of young, adolescent minds to make better decisions.

Substance use is encircled with curiosity. It’s because there’s less funding going into research for this and people don’t come out in the open and discuss about substance use or how much they are consuming. Curiosity springs from not knowing about something. There is no reliable information anywhere. Knowledge about substances and creating awareness can help solve this matter.
Unfortunately there is no open discussion about this. Either the topic is pushed under the carpet or people are judged if they speak about it.

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According to the Government of India, the consumption of marijuana is illegal – though the roots of weed are deep-rooted in our culture. Since the ancient period of the Vedas, the Cannabis Sativa has been looked upon as a sacred plant. It is considered as a source of joy. Lord Shiva is often depicted wearing a ragged animal skin, holding a chillum and smoking pot. In fact, the occasions like Maha Shivaratri, Kumbha Mela and Holi are some common social gatherings where thousands of people gather near religious sites to echo the name of name of Lord Shiva, and consume marijuana.


Providing information that is relevant to current scenarios and interests can be the key to provide impactful education about drugs. When people are aware of the physical dangers linked to substance use and abuse they will be more inclined to avoid substances.


Several types of prasadam are made from marijuana or cannabis, including the milk-based drink called bhaang that is made with paste of cannabis leaves and seeds. Hashish and charas are the other forms of cannabis. It can be seen growing in the interior parts of the country. This greenish-grey mixture of dried flowers is locally available by fancy names such as Mysuru Mango, Magic Mushrooms or Jungla in northern India.

Whether it is sadhus puffing chillums on the roadside or ladies selling bhang in integral parts of India, there is widespread socio-cultural use of marijuana in India. At times, it’s a general social trend and not considered illegal. There are even Government recognized bhaag shops in Rajasthan. It’s had in lassi, tea and enjoyed by both males and females, alike.

This kind of consumption is socially acceptable and is generally in mild forms. When it’s taken orally, it goes into the gastrointestinal tract and gets absorbed – part of it is metabolized in the liver before it actually goes into the blood. The toxic effects are less compared to other forms of usage like snorting, insufflations through the nose or injecting – these are very harmful.

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The truth is that weed is everywhere. If we know the right places to look, finding smoking gadgetry is on open display – a dazzling array of chillums, rolling paper and rolling machines is not rare. This booming market for cannabis and related products, particularly among the youth needs to be reined in. The perils occurring due to misinformation cannot be ignored longer.

Providing information that is relevant to current scenarios and interests can be the key to provide im-pactful education about drugs. The youth need to connect with the information provided. Drug educa-tion combined with learning about physical health and mental health issues such as anxiety and stress can help to add a personal touch to such communication.

When people are aware of the physical dangers linked to substance use and abuse they will be more inclined to avoid substances. When armed with the necessary knowledge, they will be more motivated to steer clear of substance use. Drug education can significantly impact individuals and help against substance abuse. When there is awareness – people will avoid risky situations and make healthier choices. Negative influences will be avoided. This includes peers and other social pressures that can cause substance use and abuse.

Parents must be made aware of the importance of connecting and conversing with their children through responsible discussions. It should be propagated that the dependency on cannabis to cope with stress can turn addictive. If smoked and inhaled in high dosage, the drug usage results in psychological or physical side effects. Awareness campaigns by the government can be yet another constructive measure. We need more dialogue on its influence and effects. Legalizing and raising taxes to enable quality control of laws to be enacted for cannabis can be an effective measure to reduce the stigma around the use of drugs.

Although we cannot entirely depend on drug education to prevent all youngsters from consuming drugs or alcohol – when this happens later in life and is not too frequent the health outcomes are like-ly to be better. In view of this, delaying and completely preventing drug use is a worthy health goal!