The threat that is engulfing Indian society, which is far more disastrous than many other threats, is prescription drug abuse. The problem is so catastrophic that the Delhi government this year shut down 15 drug stores to lessen the effect of drug abuse. Where did it all start? One may ask. Well, the problem is commonplace among the youth of the society. There are various drugs, inhalants, and depressants available in the market to which the youth get addicted pretty easily. The high sales of these products are a clear indication of regulatory lapses pertaining to the pharmaceutical sector. In India, prescription drugs are regulated by the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945. Prescription drugs come under Schedules H and X of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. However, despite legislative regulation, easy availability of a wide range of drugs has resulted in increased proportions of drugs used without a prescription.
Forget about cocaine, it all starts with Glue!
Yes, this is absolutely true. People, who are severe drug addicts, usually begin by using glue, thinner, gasoline, aerosol so on and so forth. These products have nothing to do with doctor’s prescription. Such products are easily available in the market and one can access them easily as they are not confined by any regulatory boundaries. Leave alone doctor’s prescription, these products have nothing to do with pharmacy shops as well. In order to prevent youth from drug abuse, there should be stringent regulatory compliances on the sale and purchase of the aforementioned products.
Over The Counter to be Over The Top!
OTC drugs play a significant role in the rising problem of drug abuse. There are so many medicines that are outside the domain of regulatory compliances, which can be purchased easily from pharma shops without the need of any kind of prescription. These medicines include some common names such as aspirin, Disprin, ibuprofen, cough syrups and some other sedatives. As per rules, these medicines cannot be sold without prescriptions, but due to lapses on the part of pharmacy shops, such drugs are easily being bought and sold. This is where prescription drugs abuse begins.
More often than not doctors refrain from prescribing heavy/addictive drugs to people. There are various threats and repercussions associated with the intake of some drugs. These drugs are under strict regulatory compliances and to purchase such drugs one requires a prescription from a doctor. Taking cognizance of prescription drug abuse the government of India has included the names of various drugs in a list of stringently regulated drugs. Doctors provide such drugs in case of extreme urgency or in a case of patients constantly demanding being prescribed such drugs (after knowing the repercussions). Once a patient gets addicted to such drugs, he/she demands more of it from time to time due to psychological factors.
What can be done?
There are many measures that can be contemplated to solve the aforementioned problem. The biggest stakeholder in solving this problem is the government. The government on its part should disallow the sale and purchase of such drugs even on prescription, once the treatment has been deemed completed by the doctor. This will help the government in tracking those patients who are still demanding such drugs, which in turn will help government identifying new and fruitful steps to eliminate the problem completely.
Considering all the viewpoints stated above, it can easily be concluded that it is not the doctors who are causing patients to be drug addicts, rather the regulatory lapses pertaining to sale and purchase of heavy drugs and other such materials are causing a spike in the drug addiction rates in India. It lies in the very nature of human minds to indulge in the blame game for the failures. It would be much better if instead of blaming doctors for drug addiction, the society collectively ponders over the gruesome situation and takes fruitful steps towards solving this problem.
Do share your opinions regarding this gruesome situation.
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