Ria Rahman (not real name), aged 28, landed in trouble as she got addicted to drugs being motivated by her husband.
Before marriage, Ria, a resident of Mohammadpur in the capital, knew her future husband as a drug addict. She thought that she would be able to correct him after marriage. But her assumption proved wrong.
After marriage, frustration gripped her as relations with her mother-in-law deteriorated due to maladjustment with her.
At that time, her husband, a small businessman, succeeded in persuading her that all of her tension would go away and mind to be full of joy if she takes yaba.
Being trapped by her husband, she started taking yaba, which rather made her restless and mentally sick several days later.
She is not alone. There are many females who have been addicted to drugs in the country.
According to Addiction Management Integrated Care (AMIC) of Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM), the problem initially started among males, now it has spread among females, posing threat to our social fabric.
According to a study report, made by Journal of Health Population and Nutrition of ICDDR,B, about 79.4% drug users are males while 20.6% are females in the capital city.
According to AMIC, there are a large number of female drug users. Some 250 female addicts took treatment at AMIC in the last three years. Of them, 43% was found to have taken yaba mainly due to family unrest.
Females are mainly taking the drugs such as yaba, heroin, sleeping pill 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. Females are physically and mentally influenced fast.
According to AMIC, addicts are likely to be affected by diseases such as HIV, cardiovascular, liver and abdominal problem, psychological effects including wild mood swings, depression, anxiety, paranoia, and 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. Parents 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 and a healthy family environment conducive to upbringing children is a must.
The first and foremost means of preventing addiction is family. The addiction affects the family too. Hence, the families should know the importance of treatment of addiction. Congenial atmosphere has to be created for restoring self-confidence of addicted and there should be motivation for activating the patients’ working capacity, he said.
The addicts should be brought under treatment and rehabilitation. There are facilities in our country. A total of 140 private institutions have been given license to run rehabilitation centre for treatment of drug addicts. There are four government-run such centres in the country.
“As many addicts took treatment against their will, it is needed to increase the duration of their treatment and continuous counseling for them is also important”, said Masud.
Raising mass awareness about the drug addiction is important. If awareness is not raised, many other youths may be affected.
The government has enacted the ‘Narcotics Act 2018’ for controlling drugs and ensuring treatment and rehabilitation of the addicts.
Dr. Syed Imamul Hossain, Chief Consultant of Department of Narcotics Control, said the government has taken steps for treatment and rehabilitation of female addicts.
He stressed raising awareness on drugs as well as the facilities offered by the government for treatment and rehabilitation of the addicts.