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Addiction and mental health

Nithin A.F, Consultant Psychologist, SUT Hospital, Pattom

Addiction and mental health are intertwined. A person with good mental health is less likely to become addicted to drugs. Similarly, drug use causes mental illnesses. We can see different types of intoxication; Drugs, alcohol, gambling, online video games, prescription drugs, shopping, food, internet, etc. Most commonly seen addictions that affect us are drugs, alcohol, online games, etc. Drunkenness causes a person to lose his natural state of mind. It makes them irresponsible and engages in other anti-social activities.

Deeper action is essential to reduce addiction. Apart from that, it does not seem possible to control the use of drugs by blocking roads and conducting flash mobs, organizing human chains, campaigning with celebrities and spending a huge amount, or controlling intoxicants at the supply level. Here it is important to remember the basic economic principle that where there is a demand, supply will automatically follow. Instead, it is possible to find a solution to this problem only if we can have the desired effect on the demand level of the drug.

Reasons for drug use vary in different levels of demand. Some of them are; the thought that life is only for enjoyment and pleasure leads to ever being in pleasure which ultimately leads to the initiation of some form of drugs. Second, even when family relationships are dysfunctional, avenues for addiction are sought. Thirdly, self-despair by comparing oneself with others is also a breeding ground for addiction. And the pressure of parents to push their children towards academic and career matters regardless of their limitations and shortcomings may also leads to addition. One thing that is common in most cases of substance abuse is dysfunctional family and relationships. If sincere efforts are made to address these underlying issues, addiction can certainly be controlled to a good extent.