Dhaka, Thursday, April 26, 2018

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Female drug addiction on the rise

By Fazlul Islam

DHAKA, Jan 7, 2018 (BSS)- The 28-year-old Sadia Islam (not real name) landed in trouble as she was addicted to drugs being motivated by her husband.

Before marriage, Sadia, a resident of Malibagh in the capital, knew that her would be husband as a drug addict. She thought that she would be able to correct him after marriage, but her assumption was proved wrong. After marriage, frustration gripped her as relations with her mother-in-law deteriorated due to maladjustment. At that time, her husband, a small businessman, succeeded in convincing her that all of her tension would go away and mind to be full of joy if she takes yaba, a contraband drug.

Being trapped by her husband, she started taking yaba, which made her restless and mentally sick several days later.

Sadia is not alone. There are many women in the country who have been addicted to drugs. According to Addiction Management Integrated Care (AMIC) of Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM), drug addiction is turning acute day by day globally.

In Bangladesh, the problem initially started among males, now it spread among females, posing threat to our existence.

According to a study conducted by Journal of Health Population and Nutrition of icddr,b, in the capital, about 79.4 percent drug users are males, while 20.6 percent are females.

According to AMIC, there is a large number of women drug users. Some 250 female addicts took treatment at AMIC in the last three years. Of them, 43 percent were found to have taken yaba mainly due to family unrest.

Females are mainly taking drugs such as yaba, heroin, sleeping pills and cigarette.

Misunderstanding with families, peer pressure and motivation by addicted family members or relatives also acted as causative factors.

A female is affected more than a male due to drug addiction as women are physically and mentally influenced fast.

Addicts are likely to be suffered from diseases such as HIV, cardiovascular, liver and abdominal problem. Psychological effects include wild mood swings, depression, anxiety, paranoia, violence, complication of mental illness, confusion and desire to engage in risky behavior.

Iqbal Masud, head of health sector of DAM, said family members should be aware so that they can send their addicted children to treatment centre instead of jail. "We should spend time with their children. If we want to keep our children free from the addiction, at first a drug-free atmosphere has to be created in the families side by side with a healthy family environment conducive to upbringing children," he observed.

Masud said the addicts should be brought under treatment and rehabilitation. "There're adequate facilities in our country as a total of 140 private organisations have been given license to run rehabilitation centre for treatment of drug addicts," he said. Besides, he said, there are four government-run such centres in the country.

Masud said though many addicts received treatment against their will, increasing the duration of their treatment and continuous counseling are also important for them. "Raising mass awareness about the drug addiction is important. Otherwise many other youths may be affected," he added.

Mofidul Islam, director, treatment and rehabilitation centre of Department of Narcotics Control under the Home Ministry, said awareness buildup campaign at educational institutions under the government initiative is being carried out. He, however, put emphasis on strengthening further such campaigns.

Mofidul termed the drug addiction as a serious national problem and said members of different law enforcement agencies are working for its prevention as the government is very much sincere in uprooting the menace.