FAQs

Drug addiction is the most severe form of a substance use disorder (SUD). An SUD develops when a person’s continued use of alcohol and/or drugs causes significant issues, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet responsibilities at work, school, or home. An SUD can range from mild to severe. Addiction is a complex, chronic brain disease characterized by drug craving, seeking, and use that persists even in the face of devastating life consequences. Addiction results largely from brain changes that stem from prolonged drug use—changes that involve multiple brain circuits, including those responsible for governing self-control and other behaviors. Drug addiction is treatable, with medications (for some addictions) and/or behavioral therapies. However, relapse is common and can happen even after long periods of abstinence, underscoring the need for long-term support and care. Relapse does not signify treatment failure, but rather should prompt treatment re-engagement or modification.
There is no easy answer to this common question. If and how quickly you become addicted to a drug depends on many factors, including your biology (your genes, for example), age, gender, environment, and interactions among these factors. While one person may use a drug one or many times and suffer no ill effects, another person may overdose with the first use or become addicted after a few uses. There is no way of knowing in advance how quickly you will become addicted, but there are some clues—an important one being whether you have a family history of addiction.
Some people are more vulnerable to addiction than others, but it’s important to remember that anyone, at any age, can become addicted to drugs. This is because one’s brain is still developing as a teen, and drugs and alcohol change the chemicals in your brain. They disrupt how you think, how you act, and how your brain works. It only takes a few hits or few pills to start this cycle. I know you may think it won’t happen to you, but sometimes you just can’t predict it.
Each drug of abuse is unique and will act on the brain in a different way. However, all drugs share a something in common – a chemical called dopamine. When a person uses a drug, their brain releases dopamine to produce the feeling of being “high.” But when a person uses drugs repeatedly, their brain adjusts to the surges of dopamine that occur. In time, their bodies get used to this chemical and demand more of it. This is where an addiction starts. The user starts to crave more drugs and less of the once pleasurable things in life, such as good food or friendships. The user also begins to lose the ability to resist these bad cravings, making it harder for him or her to quit.
Yes, you can. Most people of your age only have the intention of using a drug once or “once in a while.” They do not intend to develop an addiction, but many do. This is because addictive drugs chemically change a person’s brain with each time of use. Progressively, your occasional use may turn into frequent use which may turn into regular use over time. This is the cycle of addiction.
Every day we make choices that affect our health. People take drugs for a lot of different reasons, like to deal with life’s challenges, to escape from reality, to relieve pain, or to try to fit in—just to name a few. Some people can be aware of the negative effects of drugs on their health and in their life and still struggle to stop using them. This is because repeated drug use can lead to changes in the brain that make it hard to stop using them, even when people want to stop. When this happens, the person is experiencing a medical problem known as substance use disorder. Addiction is a severe form of substance use disorder. People take drugs as a form of experimentation or to garner social acceptance or as a coping mechanism to deal with an unpleasant reality or self image. Addiction is also hereditary. People with parents or relatives who have a history of addiction are more prone to become addicts themselves. Poor social environment and improper nurturing also leads to addiction.
If your doctor prescribes you a medication, you may take it safely and legally as it is directed. However, it is important to remember that prescription drugs are still drugs, they are addictive, and they are both dangerous and illegal if used nonmedically. You can die from using a prescription drug that was not prescribed to you.
There are many different signs of addiction, and every drug has its own, unique symptoms and side effects. If you think that someone you know has an addiction, pay attention to how he or she acts and looks. If you notice any of these behavioural or physical signs of drug addiction, it is important to talk to your friend as well as tell a trusted adult who can help.
If you think your friend has a serious drug problem, the most immediate thing you can do is offer him or her support. Talk to your friend and let them know that you are concerned and that you are there for them. Encourage them to seek help from a trusted adult, such as a school counsellor, a doctor, a psychiatrist, or an addiction professional. You can also talk to me, and together we can figure out how to find professionals who can get your friend healthy again. If you feel that your friend is in danger, this is especially important. You can help save your friends’ life if you recognize there is a problem. You can be a positive influence.
Many substances, including alcohol, nicotine, medications, and illicit drugs, can have negative effects on the developing fetus because these substances reach the fetus through the placenta. For example, nicotine has been connected with premature birth and low birth weight, as has the use of cocaine. Heroin exposure can result in dependence in the newborn, requiring treatment for withdrawal symptoms. Drug use during pregnancy is also linked to brain and behavioral problems in the baby, which may lead to cognitive challenges for the child. It is often difficult to tease apart the various factors that go with drug use during pregnancy—poor nutrition, inadequate prenatal care, stress, and psychiatric comorbidities—all of which may affect a baby's development.
Withdrawal describes the various symptoms that occur after a person abruptly reduces or stops long-term use of a drug. Length of withdrawal and symptoms vary with the type of drug. For example, physical symptoms of heroin withdrawal may include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, and cold flashes. These physical symptoms may last for several days, but the general depression, or dysphoria (opposite of euphoria), that often accompanies heroin withdrawal may last for weeks. In many cases, withdrawal can be treated with medications to ease the symptoms, but treating withdrawal is not the same as treating addiction.
Detoxification is the process of allowing the body to rid itself of a drug while managing the symptoms of withdrawal. Detox alone is not treatment, but is often the first step in a drug treatment program. Treatment with behavioural therapy and/or medication (if available) should follow detox.
It’s not uncommon for a person with a drug addiction to have another mental illness, but it’s difficult to know whether addiction is the cause of the mental illness, or whether people with mental illnesses turn to drug use to “self-medicate.” It’s also likely that some of the same genes and brain regions involved in addiction are also involved in other brain and behavioural disorders, such as schizophrenia and depression.
No. Marijuana has harmful effects on human body and it is addictive. As of now, consumption, sale, purchase, warehousing, etc. is punishable offence in India
Yes, marijuana is a plant but it has very real health consequences, including drug addiction. While some people think marijuana is a “harmless drug,” actual experience and the real science show a different reality. More teens are in treatment with a primary diagnosis of marijuana dependence than for all other illegal drugs combined.
While most marijuana smokers do not go on to use other illegal drugs, However, using marijuana puts people in contact with people who are users and sellers of other drugs and are more likely to be exposed to and urged to try other drugs. Hence, it is also called as the gateway drug.
Yes. In India it is, no matter however small the quantity is.
Yes. The use, sale, purchase, consumption, warehousing, trafficking etc. of Ganja, Charas and Opium is a punishable offence under NDPS Act 1985 (as amended).
A person with an addictive personality will take to drugs, alcohol or other addictive patterns of behaviour, irrespective of good or bad parenting. In the case where parents openly display their addictive patterns in front of young children, the chances of the children emulating their parents in later stages is high. However, the child with the addictive personality is the one who is more likely to become an addict, while other siblings from the same family will stay sober and less affected.
Home is a place where one can scratch where it itches, and family is a unit from whom an addict expects unconditional support. Most addicts come from broken homes and dysfunctional families. Many addicts even consider themselves responsible for their family situation and dynamics. But in recovery the divorced or separated parents coming together to support their child leads to better chances of recovery. As long as an addict feels wanted and is presented with an idea of emotional security, the need to become and stay sober becomes stronger.
Rehabilitation is the most important aspect of recovery from any form of addiction. Any addict can be detoxified or made to stop. But a rehabilitation program is necessary to ensure that an addict stays stopped and becomes productive.
Addiction is a chronic mental disease, that affects the brain and other organs of the body, needs to be treated, and can be cured through proper rehabilitation.
Childhood experiences relating to abuse, neglect and abandonment, as well as other mental trauma all contribute towards the addict’s need to insulate oneself from the horrors of daily life and seek refuge in some sort of addictive behaviour, drugs and alcohol.
Yes. Addiction leads to mental disorders and impaired functioning. Recovery from addiction leads to improved self-worth and mental health.
Some of the triggering factors that could lead to a relapse are: • reverting to old behavioural patterns • neglect of self care • exposing oneself unnecessarily to past places/acts of addiction • Overconfidence • trying to have relationships within the first year after rehab • experimenting with the one-trip-funda (conning oneself to believe that one use of a substance/behavioural pattern will not lead to relapse) • experimenting with alternate forms/substances of addiction • ignoring the rules to stay fit on the 4 planes • staying idle • avoiding the support structure
Yes, consumption of drugs prohibited under NDPS Act is a punishable offence.
NDPS Act has a provision of graded punishment. The punishment ranges from 6 months to 20 years in general conditions with fine depending upon the quantity of drugs one deals in.
Ignorance of law is no excuse. Any offence under NDPS Act is cognizable and one can still be prosecuted and punished even if he has no knowledge of NDPS Act but has committed an offence under the act.
The street level drug trafficking is generally dealt by local police as the Narcotics Control Bureau has more focus on seizing bigger quantities of drugs so as to reduce supply of drugs on the street level, bust drug trafficking networks, study new Modus Operandi, work with international counterparts etc. However we are open to taking information and take necessary action as deemed fit.
Yes. Any law abiding citizen can become our informer. NCB has a reward policy to reward the informer on a successful information leading to seizure as per government norms and policy of the department. NCB does not reveal the identity of its informer at any cost. Still the life risk can not be denied.
One can call on our official landlines/email and provide information on any drug trafficking one witnesses or is aware of. However, NCB reserves the right to verify the information and take action as deemed fit. NCB is not mandated to update the informer on action taken as the information could be motivated, fake or even to expose the officers of NCB and put them to life risk.
Lately, prescription drugs have been used as substitute to the other drugs for addictive purposes, which causes life threat to the user. NCB seizes the prescription drugs, if it observes any violation of NDPS Act.
The drug addict is the victim in the vicious circle of drug supply and demand. He should be seen with respect and encourages to seek professional and medical help in the nearest government deaddiction center. He should be encouraged for counselling and therapy.
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has launched a National Toll Free Helpline No. (1800-11-0031) to assist people with regard to prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, on 7th January, 2015. This helpline runs on Monday to Saturday from 9:30 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. Narcotics Control Bureau is under process to develop its own helpline which would be functional in near future.

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