SPEECH OF HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE VIJENDER
JAIN, CHIEF JUSTICE, PUNJAB HARYANA HIGH COURT, CHANDIGARH IN THE SEMINAR
ON "DRUG DE-ADDICTION" ON 13.10.2007 AT BATHINDA
Now a days the addiction is the worst
illness of our society and it has been spreading its tentacles throughout
the nation and the world. Before Independence Gandhiji thought about the
danger of addiction and warned the nation to cure the addicts so that it
does not disturb the society at large.
No society has been free from this malady.
There is evidence that it can damage the brain and the mind, increase the
risk of strokes, seizures, dementia, liver diseases, cancer and
hypertension and cause foetal damage.
There are 20 crores of people who are
taking drugs throughout the globe.
In our country, farmers have to obtain
licenses legally for the cultivation of opium. The government has now
granted permissions to 1,33,409 persons to cultivate opium for medicinal
purpose. But the illegal drugs are always available in the open market due
to lack of proper enforcement by the concerned authorities.
In Punjab, over two-third of the victims
are regular alcohol users and 26% illicit drug users. As per report,
alcohol and drug abuse was an important cause of suicide by farmers in the
State. The per capital alcohol consumption in Punjab is considered to be
the highest in the world. The survey on Drug Abuse in Punjab conducted by
Institute of Development and Communication, Chandigarh in 2003, further
indicates that lower strata consume almost all available drugs and the
upper caste Sikhs use alcohol and opium and generally avoid tobacco
products. The poor are moving towards cheap tablets, available at every
drug store and from the quacks in the neighbourhood. The offspring of the
rich are trying smack in the cities where they are sent for studies by
their parents. Every third male and every 10th female student
in the State has had drugs on one occasion or the other.
80% of Punjabi youth take drugs. The drug
problem came to notice only few years ago. The spark was present since
past many years, but the fire spread only two or three years ago and it is
destroying many houses in Punjab. According to survey, 78% people say that
users make their first contact with drugs through friends. The most
popular drugs among students are:
Alcohol- reported by 38%
Smack- reported by 37%
Cigarettes- reported by 25%
As you see in the above survey result,
smack (powder form of heroin) is trying to take number 1 spot among the
In the villages, the chemist shops which
are meant to be the lifeline for the villagers are one major source of
illegal drugs for the village people. There is a major need to control the
illegal sale of medicines. The chemists do not ask for a prescription, and
they do not keep any inventory of the drugs sold. They even sell the
medicine in bulk to individuals without any doctor's prescription.
Most of the drug users are in the age group
of 20 to 30 years old. From the last three years the drug use has seen a
steep rise. Everybody has one thing in common which is “unemployment”.
They usually inherit a good share of land ranging from 5 kilas up to 25
kilas or belong to rich families. All of them use heroin (Smack) users.
Desperate Youth- Willing to do anything to
They dip a piece of
cotton wool in petrol and keep it under their nose and inhale the air and
they get high by doing that.
They kill and burn the lizard and eat it to get high
They rub the boot polish onto the back of their neck and turn it towards
the sun and they get high feeling by doing that.
They eat the dirt deposited on the leaking petrol pipe of vehicles and
Bhang in Cigarette-
They rub the Bhang leaf in oily hands until it turns into a small ball of
dirt and they put that small ball into the cigarette and smoke it. This
gives them more thrill/high than normal cigarette.
They use Iodex in place of Jam on a toast and with that taste they get
high. Iodex is a pain relief balm.
A simple stationary item which is used to correct writing or typing errors
on papers. They cut open it and drink the whole fluid to get high.
We could not find any clinic which offers
good long term plan for the addicts and works according to the Gurmat
Drug problem in Punjab can be controlled
only if we run the de-addiction centre according to sikhi rehat, including
maintaining the Strict Amrit Vela program. Sikhi lifestyle can give these
addicts a new life, making them feel that drugs are BIG NO in their
religion. We need to lift the spirits of the addicts and boost their self
esteem by giving them good counseling and gurmat education.
Women could play an important role to de
addict their relations. Relapse cases are happening more due to huge
generational gap between parents and children. After recovery an addict
comes back to his family. But the role of family should be such as to
prevent relapse. The attitude of family members should be positive towards
a recovered addict.