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  • Current Trends of Drug Abuse in Mumbai – The Epidemic

Current Trends of Drug Abuse in Mumbai – The Epidemic

Debunking Rehab Myths

Drug abuse has been rising in our country for the past couple of decades. People from all walks of life are consuming drugs in various forms. Various case studies and statistics have mentioned that drug addiction has proven to be fatal for thousands of people in India. While some folk presumes that heavy drug consumption is prevalent in the film industry in Mumbai, there are several sections in our society where this issue cannot be understated. Keeping this in mind, read this write-up to understand the types of drugs being consumed in the business capital of India along with the latest drug-abuse trends, effects on the body, and how to safeguard yourself: 

Traditional Drugs

Consumption of traditional drugs has been around in Mumbai and neighboring cities since the 70s with the introduction of Bohemian culture in movies, music, and other entertainment sources. These drugs are made from plants mentioned below: 

Opium Poppy – Scientifically known as Papaver Somniferum, opium is one of the leading natural sources of drugs in India. Bhaang and other opioids are developed using this plant and then sold in the market at very cheap prices. 

Cannabis – The popularity of cannabis drugs like ganja and charas is known to everyone nowadays. Be it A-list celebrities or young children in schools, the rapid consumption of these illicit drugs is mainly because of their easy accessibility. 

Coca – The leaves of the Coca plant (Erythroxylum coca) are crushed and made into a paste to develop brain-stimulating drugs. As most of these drugs can be comparatively expensive, the abuse is still prevalent in the privileged sections of Mumbai city. 

Synthetic Drugs 

These drugs are made from man-made chemicals by applying scientifically advanced techniques. Here are the most commonly used synthetic drugs in Mumbai: 

a. Amphetamines – These are psycho-stimulant drugs that can affect the central nervous system of an individual. Initially, amphetamines were developed to treat ADHD, obesity, and other medical issues but their over-the-counter availability has led to rampant abuse. 

b. Ecstasy – Termed as a “designer drug” in the market, ecstasy is a stimulant drug that comes in the form of pills. E, Molly, MDMA are other names of this drug that has become common among teenagers and adults alike. 

c. Diazepam – A prescription drug used for treating anxiety, sleeping disorders, and seizures has become an addictive substance for people who like to stay under sedation for long periods of time. 

d. Methaqualone – First used in the 50s for the treatment of Malaria, it has quickly transformed into a recreational drug. Due to its sedative characteristic, people who consume large quantities are at a high risk of coma, convulsion, and even death. 

Semi-Synthetic Drugs

These types of drugs are developed from natural substances to active their stimulant ingredients or even modify them. The following are the most popular semi-synthetic drugs in Mumbai” 

a. Cocaine – The leading semi-synthetic drug in the market is cocaine in the form of a white powder. It is made from the dried leaves of two different Coca plants resulting in the formation of its base form and crack. 

b. Morphine – Traditionally used as a painkiller, this drug is used as a sedative by many people in the city. The illegal consumption of morphine is because of its cheap price and availability at pharmacies. 

c. Codeine – Another painkiller that has raised havoc in the streets of Mumbai is codeine. Available in pill and syrup form, the use of this drug is highly prevalent among underprivileged communities. 

d. Heroin – Made from the seed pods of opium, heroin is one of the most dangerous illicit drugs. It can be taken in the form of a pill, snorted, or injected into the body. The euphoric effects of this opioid are the main reason behind its illegal usage. 

Current Trends of Drug and Substance Abuse in Mumbai

In the past few years, the illegal usage and trafficking of morphine, codeine, and heroin have increased in Mumbai. According to the authorities, the city recorded the maximum registered cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act in 2020. The main cause of opioids becoming common in the streets is their affordable price. Besides this, Meow Meow (synthetic drug), cocaine, and charas (hash) are given out to underaged teens at house parties and clubs in large numbers. 

The Effects of Drugs on the Human Body

Regular consumption of illicit drugs can have physical and mental effects on the human body. An individual can affect a person’s ability to make sound decisions and behave properly in a social setting. Along with this, serious medical can develop in the lungs, heart, and other vital organs. Cancer, Hepatitis, HIV, and AIDs are some of the most dangerous health conditions that can occur due to these illegal drugs. Mental health can also get affected by the onset of paranoia, aggression, anxiety, and hallucinations caused by synthetic and semi-synthetic drugs. 

How to Stay Safe from Drugs

Safeguarding yourself from illicit drugs is a responsibility that nobody can teach you. Self-control plays a key role in avoiding the consumption of any type of drug. Along with this, it is imperative that you do not let peer pressure overpower your decision-making skills. Avoid attending parties and clubs where a majority of people are involved in consuming drugs. If you are attending a social event, make sure to keep your food and beverage within your reach. This will keep you safe from getting yourself roofied or high without your knowledge. 

Treatment for Drug Addiction

Most people suffering from drug abuse exhibit changes in their behavior. For instance, they have the urge to take a certain drug multiple times a day. Their energy levels are low when they are not high. Some people might also feel depressed without taking large doses of drugs. Aggression, paranoia, and insecurity, and some other changes are observed. 

Physical symptoms vary based on the type of drug being consumed. A few common symptoms include dilated pupils, excessive weight loss, insomnia, nasal congestion, tremors, and memory loss. People suffering from substance abuse and drug addiction can get proper treatment at a reputed hospital or rehabilitation center in Mumbai. Mentioned below are two types of programs offered: 

1. Residential Program

This program is for people who would like to reside in a rehabilitation center. A residential setup ensures that the individual can live in a controlled environment for a long period of time. Typically, a residential program lasts for 28 or can go up to 6 months, depending on the speed of a patient’s detoxification. The benefit of this program is that patients always get medical support. So, in case of a severe withdrawal reaction, proper care can be given immediately. 

2. Outpatient Program 

People who do not wish to stay away from their homes can opt for an outpatient program that lasts for 10 to 12 hours a week. This type of rehabilitation is not restrictive for the patient. Social and family support play key roles in its success as the patient might suffer from withdrawal symptoms during the detoxification process. Along with this, a counselor with expertise in dealing with drug addicts should be consulted to get the best results. 

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