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Once they are caught in the trap of drugs, they soon understand that there is no way to
get out of it

by Spiros Tzelepis, Greece

Punishment and persecution of the drug users is not the solution to the problem

Drugs make the person useless for the society and the society unnecessary for the person Beaudelaire

The number of young people who use drugs is constantly on the increase; more and more deaths are announced but it seems that they are not enough to wake up the consumerism society which on the one hand offers them everything while at the same time on the other hand, it reproduces structures which are the main causes of the problem.

The fact that the young people turn to drugs is the main proof that they are not satisfied with the world as drugs are nothing else that an effort they make to escape from the reality around them.

We use the word drugs to describe the chemical substances that affect people psychologically and mentally. The use of drugs goes back to ancient years as there are written witnesses that they were used for religious and medical purposes.

The problem of drugs is very complex and whoever tries to identify its causes one-sided lies as a large number of interrelated factors are to be blamed for it.

Young people are vulnerable to all external temptations as they are seeking for their identity in a world whose main characteristic is uncertainty, fluidity, loneliness and mainly lack of communication. They are seeking for a meaning in their life while the whole system of values around them is collapsing; there are no ideologies and ideals to rely on. They deny the reality around them and their denial is translated to a tendency to leave. Drugs promise a trip to a dreamy world. But here is their illusion: Trying to leave a world they do not like, they are trapped to a world which kills them. They are unable to understand the simple truth: if you do not like something resist to it, fight against it and do not quit.

For other teenagers the things are simpler. The tendency to taste new prohibited experiences, to be considered as independent by their peers or copy what others already do are reasons to be involved in drugs with the illusion that they will stop when they want to. Soon they understand that they "cannot escape because they are not able to want" as I have read in an essay. Of course nothing from the above would happen if the drug dealers did not exploit young people's ignorance and vulnerability.

Once they are caught in the trap of drugs, they soon understand that there is no way to get out of it. They lose the ability of self control, they feel disoriented and confused in their mind. Gradually, they are alienated from their environment and become unable to participate in social life; therefore, they are marginalized. As a second step, they turn to illegal actions and violence when they experience the deprivation syndrome and many crimes are committed by drug users. Most of these people are finally led to death as a result of the damages their health has been subjected due to drug use.

Punishment and persecution of the drug users is not the solution to the problem. As with all problems, prevention is the better solution. Informing young people about the danger they face using drugs, healthy relationships with their environment, communication with family and support will help. Even those who have tried drugs should be supported to find a way to get out of this labyrinth. Scientific methods in detoxination centers applied by experts will give their life back to them. The social rehabilitation and support will follow. Their environment should embrace them and the society should avoid blotting them.

It is the state's obligation to enforce strict rules for the drug dealers and it is the society's obligation to give young people meaning for their existence.

Ps Recent reports state that the use of drugs has been doubled among students and among young people while there has been a real explosion in the heroine addicted people in Greece according to OKANA (Greek organization against drugs).

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