Mental Wellbeing

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Substance Abuse and Addiction is a disease that leads to the inability to control the use of legal or illegal drugs. It causes damage to one’s brain and overall health. Once a person is addicted to a certain drug, the craving for it takes over in spite of knowing about its harmful effects. Over time the dosage of the drug increases to maintain the same level of high and it gets even more difficult to go without the drug. The dependence on the drug is so high that the person is unable to think logically and can no longer make decisions with a clear mind. Even if one attempts to stop drug use, it may cause withdrawal symptoms and make them physically sick.

Drug addiction symptoms or behaviors include:

  • Strong cravings for the drug often. The urges tend to block out other thoughts in the mind
  • Over time, increasing the dosage to get the same level of high
  • Willing to take desperate measures to maintain a supply of the drug and spending money on it even without being able to afford it
  • Decision making abilities are clouded by an unclear mind
  • Not motivated to adhere to work or social responsibilities
  • Continuing the addiction even when it is causing problems in life as well as deteriorating health
  • Unable to give up on the drug and experiencing withdrawal symptoms
  • Sleep patterns change and might be irregular
  • Visible changes in features such as bloodshot eyes, bad breath, change in weight

Why is drug use increasing in the present day and time? What are the factors that cause substance abuse? Statistics show that 50% of people 12 and older have used illicit drugs at least once. Drug overdose deaths in the US since 2000 are nearing one million. It is observed that the factors playing a role in why some people are more prone to addiction than others are genetics, the environment they are exposed to and developmental stages of one’s life. Other than these factors, youth are beginning to turn to drugs as an escape from stressful situations. 

Certain steps that can be taken to prevent the children from turning to substance abuse are:

  1. Early in life, educate them about the importance of mental and physical health. 
  2. Help your children understand the difference between what they see on social media and real life.
  3. Involve them in sports, other activities which engage them with nature, like trekking, mountain climbing, swimming. Help them develop passion and involvement for something will drive their focus in a positive way. If they experience the sharpness of their intellect, the pleasures of emotion, the pleasures of their consciousness, it will improve their mental stability and strength and thus will make them less susceptible to turning to substances during stressful situations.
  4. Keep an eye on your child’s friends and their friends’ parents to check that they are on the same page with regard to supervision and prohibiting substance use.
  5. Be aware of possible mental health issues. There is a correlation between mental and physical health issues (including stress and anxiety) and substance abuse.  

Although it is challenging to deal with addiction, it is not impossible for one to overcome it. Interventions by close friends and family with help of professional help can help provide the necessary emotional and mental support that one needs to take the step and stay on the path of recovery. However, the old saying stays true- “Prevention is better than cure”.

Doing simple yoga and meditation practices helps with the prevention.  Below is a simple yet powerful practice anyone above 12 years of age can do to bring peace, joy and fulfillment in their lives.

Click the link to watch and practice – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwQkfoKxRvo

 

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