The Effect of Illegal Drug
Subject: Pharmacy | Topics:


There are many illegal drugs that are being abused by our society today. Drugs such as marijuana, meth, and the abuse of prescription medications are on the rise. It is important for everyone to raise their level of awareness in order to reduce the risk of drug abuse or to help someone they care for who is already suffering from drug abuse or addiction. Illegal drugs come in different shapes, sizes, and types. Each particular drug produces unique effects on the user; this is why you may have heard the term “drug of choice”. This means, the drug that the user prefers. People use illegal drugs for many reasons, boredom, to fit in, experimentation, etc. They begin to abuse drugs when they repeatedly take them to solve their problems or to make them feel “normal”. Illicit drug and alcohol use is a fact of life in today’s society. To use or not to use such substances is a decision which all young people must address for themselves at an early age. Governments, schools and social programmed have attempted to forestall such abusive behavior by young people through school and community based programmed as well as broad advertising campaigns, taxation and law enforcement. Yet the continued presence of substance abuse by youth in this country is unquestionable testimony to the fact that we need to ado a more effective job for the sake of our young people and the well-being of our society. Illegal drugs come in different shapes, sizes, and types. Each particular drug produces unique effects on the user; this is why you may have heard the term “drug of choice”. This means, the drug that the user prefers. People use illegal drugs for many reasons, boredom, to fit in, experimentation, etc. They begin to abuse drugs when they repeatedly take them to solve their problems or to make them feel “normal”

  • Most drugs are very addictive.
  • People respond differently to the same drugs.
  • The strength or potency of the drug may be unknown.
  • The drugs may contain unknown or unexpected substances.
  • There is no quality control for street drugs like that required for prescription drugs.
  • The drugs may interact with other drugs or alcohol in unpredictable ways.

How quickly a potential drug addict does become addicted to a drug depends on many factors including the biology of their body. All drugs are potentially harmful and may have life-threatening consequences associated with their use. There are also vast differences among individuals in sensitivity to various drugs.

While one person may use a drug one or many times and suffer no ill effects, another person may be particularly vulnerable and overdose with first use. There is no way of knowing in advance how someone may react. This entry gives information on the five categories of illicit drugs – narcotics, stimulants, depressants (sedatives), hallucinogens, and cannabis. These categories include many drugs legally produced and prescribed by doctors as well as those illegally produced and sold outside of medical channels. Illegal drugs are drugs which have controls on them by a government and are illegal in certain situations (a person is not allowed to have them). A drug is any chemical designed to affect the human body. A psychoactive drug is a drug that affects the brain. Some controlled drugs are allowed if you have permission (called a “prescription”) from a doctor. Other drugs are illegal – meaning you are never allowed to have them. Once the smoke is in your lungs the drug passes out into the blood stream just like the oxygen does. It is carried all around the body. The drug affects your brain. Most drugs are addictive. They change the chemical processes in your body so that you may become addicted to them (dependent on them). If you are addicted to a drug you cannot manage properly without it. Once you are addicted to a drug, you generally need more and more of it to keep you feeling normal. When addicts try to stop using drugs they usually feel very unwell. They often have aches and pains, sweating, shaking, headaches and cravings for their drug. These are known as withdrawal symptoms. An illegal drug is a drug which is prohibited by the law. An example of this is cannabis, a popular illegal drug. If you were caught supplying illegal drugs you could get a lengthy sentence.


Illicit drug and alcohol use is a fact of life in today’s society. To use or not to use such substances is a decision which all young people must address for themselves at an early age. Governments, schools and social programmed have attempted to forestall such abusive behavior by young people through school and community based programmed as well as broad advertising campaigns, taxation and law enforcement. Yet the continued presence of substance abuse by youth in this country is unquestionable testimony to the fact that we need to ado a more effective job for the sake of our young people and the well-being of our society.



  Name1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
Other drugs*5,7305,9576,5096,8457,736

Source:  R. Logan, “Crime Statistics in Canada, 2000,” Jurist at, Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, 85-002-xie, Vol. 21, No. 8, 2001



MarijuanaMarijuana is generally associated with a reduced desire to use violence.
Heroin Like marijuana, heroin generally has the effect of lowering the desire to use violence.  In some cases, however, it appears that disturbed or impulsive behaviors may occur during a period of withdrawal.
CocaineCocaine’s main property is that it stimulates the central nervous system.  Cocaine abuse can cause paranoia, although that reaction appears to be infrequent among cocaine users as a whole.  Some report that cocaine use can also cause irritability and anxiety in users, especially at the end of a period of intoxication.
PCP PCP is recognized for its many properties (hallucinogenic, analgesic and anesthetic).  Like cocaine, it stimulates the central nervous system.  Empirical studies are particularly incomplete for this drug; however, PCP is second to alcohol as the drug most often associated with violence.
LSDLike PCP, LSD is known for its hallucinogenic properties.  It can therefore cause strange and violent behavior.
AmphetaminesThe main property of amphetamines is that, like cocaine, they stimulate the central nervous system.  Amphetamine abuse can thus cause paranoia, irritability, anxiety and even toxic psychosis.

Sources: S. Brochu, “La violence et la drogue,” L’intervenant, Vol. 16, No. 3, April 2000; D.C. McBride, “Drugs and Violence,” in J. Inciardi, ed., The Drugs-Crime Connection, Sage Publications, 1981; N. Boyd, High Society.  Legal and Illegal Drugs in Canada, Toronto: Key Porter Books, 1991.


Marijuana comes from the dried leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. It may have hallucinogenic effects, but it is mainly a depressant. Based on the strength of the drug, its amount, the user and his/her mood, the effects of marijuana will vary. Disturbing feelings of paranoia, hallucinations, and other symptoms of drug-induced psychosis is produced by the now much stronger hydroponically grown marijuana when it is used in combination with alcohol or other drugs. Social and emotional problems that can affect a person’s relationship with family and friends are usually the results of using marijuana. Loss of inhibitions is one of the effects of marijuana, which may cause a person to say or do something they normally wouldn’t do or take risks that may put them in danger. People may also become less motivated due to the use of marijuana.


Is the dried milk of the poppy plant and contains morphine and codeine from morphine it is a short step to the production of heroin, a powder over twice as potent as morphine. Opium can be eaten, smoked and drunk. Morphine can be injected or taken orally. Heroin can be smoked in tobacco, heated on aluminum foil and inhaled, injected under the skin or into the muscle/ vein.


Heroin belongs to the group of drugs called opiates, which are strong pain killers, and because they slow down the functions of the central nervous system, they are classified as depressants. Heroin usually comes in powder form and in different colors; it can be smoked, injected or snorted. Heroin may cause constipation, itching, nausea and vomiting. The pupils of the eyes narrow to pin-points when heroin is taken in higher doses, breathing becomes slower and shallower, and the skin becomes cold. A person’s heart, lungs and veins may become damaged due to the long-term use of street opiates including heroin, and the lifestyle that is associated with it. Men who use heroin may experience impotence, while women may experience irregular menstruation and possibly infertility. There’s a particular risk for the heroin user because this drug is usually injected. A person’s risk of contracting hepatitis B, hepatitis C, tetanus and HIV will be greatly increased in the case of sharing injecting equipment such as syringes and needles, filters, tourniquets, spoons, alcohol swabs and sterile water.


Meth belongs to the group of drugs called amphetamines. It is classified as a stimulant because it stimulates the activity of certain chemicals in the brain. Meth bought on the streets is usually a white or yellow powder. It can be snorted, swallowed, smoked or injected. Usually, meth is of a very poor quality, and a ‘dirty’ hit can make a person sick. Based on physical size, gender, mood, personality, the way it is used, its quality, and a previous history of use, the effects of meth varies from one person to another. The immediate effects of meth last between two to five hours.


Cocaine comes in the form of a white powder, it comes from coca leaves and it could be made synthetically. Cocaine is a highly addictive drug and it is classified as a stimulant because it speeds up the nervous system. Addiction could be almost immediate after the first use. Regular users of cocaine almost always become addicted. Stealing, lying, problems with relationships and flattened emotions are some of the daily living problems that this addiction can cause. The quality of cocaine, its purity and the amount taken will determine its effect on a person. Taking more of the drug may not increase the sensation, but it increases the negative health effects and the risk of overdose. Cocaine is extremely dangerous and can cause death.


The street name of cocaine that has been processed from cocaine hydrochloride to a ready-to-use form for smoking is called “crack”. Crack cocaine is processed with ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (also known as baking soda) and water, instead of requiring the more dangerous method of processing cocaine using ether. When crack cocaine is heated to remove the hydrochloride, it produces the form that can be smoked. The crackling sound heard when the mixture is heated, presumably from the sodium bicarbonate, is why this drug is called “crack”. Crack or “rock” is sold on the illicit market in small inexpensive dosage units. Smoking this form of the drug produces effects comparable to intravenous injection because it delivers large quantities of cocaine to the lungs. These effects don’t last long, but they are intense and are felt almost immediately after smoking.


Ecstasy speeds up the functions of the central nervous system and it is classified as a stimulant. Ecstasy is also called mom, e, tic and Adam. It is difficult for users to know what they are taking because ecstasy is usually mixed with a variety of different drugs. Little is known about these combinations, so it’s quite dangerous to take ecstasy in combination with other drugs. Additionally, the risk of complications and serious side effects is increased with taking more than one drug. It could lead to a number of serious physical and psychological problems. A ‘hangover’ may result from using ecstasy with symptoms such as muscular aches, loss of appetite, depression and insomnia. Based on size, mood, health, gender, weight, personality, expectations of the drug, and previous experience, the effects of ecstasy vary from one person to another.


Methamphetamine, popularly shortened to meth or ice, is a psycho stimulant and sympathomimetic drug. Methamphetamine enters the brain and triggers a cascading release of nor epinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. Since it stimulates the mesolimbic reward pathway, causing euphoria and excitement, it is prone to abuse and addiction. Users may become obsessed or perform repetitive tasks such as cleaning, hand-washing, or assembling and disassembling objects. Withdrawal is characterized by excessive sleeping, eating and depression-like symptoms, often accompanied by anxiety and drug-craving.We first smoked meth on New Year’s Eve because we heard it was great for sex. I had to work the next day and so saved some to smoke before work in the morning. When I got home another g was waiting for me and I smoked every day but one until I finally quit three months later. For three weeks we smoked meth with little consequence, and then my skin became fragile and in addition to breaking out, started to swell. I was really worried because I was constantly thirsty and drinking water, but I rarely urinated. Then my kidneys started hurting. I had lost twenty pounds in two months and my husband had lost thirty, and we’d read somewhere that rapid weight loss can cause kidney failure. I slept every three or four days for an hour or so and woke feeling rested. I was an hour late for work every day. My husband wrecked the truck three times.

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In contrast to prescription drugs, illegal drugs are not manufactured in controlled environments under strict standards of quality. In other words, you never know what quality and quantity you are really getting, or with what cheaper poison an unscrupulous dealer may have diluted the drug. Some of the side effects of illegal drugs could actually limit your ability to have the ‘good time’ you might have thought the drug was going to provide. The side-effects multiply, compound and can cause permanent damage the more frequently you take the drugs. Side effects include:

  • confusion
  • anxiety
  • paranoia
  • panic attacks
  • nausea
  • shaking
  • headache
  • schizophrenic and psychotic behavior
  • hostile and aggressive behavior
  • violence, often for no apparent reason
  • periods of severe mental and emotional disturbance, and possible permanent mental illness
  • Potentially permanent damage to brain, liver, kidneys and heart.

The highly addictive characteristics of drugs such as heroin, cocaine and various amphetamine compounds may take away any control you have over the continuation of self-inflicted damage. The cost of feeding an inevitable addiction that regular use will cause may mean you find yourself involved in serious crime, facing a lengthy jail term, and dealing with serious health problems including permanent mental illness, the risks of communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS, and overdosing. You might also lose the support of your family and friends along the way. Some people have the ability to use prescription and recreational drugs with little to no hazardous effects while others can become addicted to a particular drug after using it one time. The effects of drug abuse vary from person to person, particularly when individuals just start consuming certain drugs. However, after long periods of continued use, the majority of individuals who take both prescription and recreational drugs have a high likelihood of becoming addicted. Drug abuse and addiction can change a person’s entire life within a very short time period.

 As a person begins to form a physical and emotional dependency on a particular drug, he or she feels a powerful urge to consume the drug regularly. The extent of an individual’s vulnerability to his or her drug addiction depends on a wide variety of factors, including the person’s genes, mental health, physical health, and environment. A person who is addicted to drugs will also have to deal with the physical drug addiction effects they will ultimately experience as a result of being addicted to drugs. If you or a loved one is suffering from a drug addiction, call our 24-hour helpline at 1-800-928-9139, or fill out a contact form on this page.

Drugs Affect the Body and Brain:

Different drugs affect the body in different ways, but all drugs chemically alter the brain. The drug effects that occur in individuals who consume drugs depend on how the brain processes the chemicals in each drug. The amount of drugs needed to cause certain effects vary as well. All of an individual’s perceptions are controlled by the brain; therefore, the brain dictates the effects of drug abuse in individuals. What a person feels, hears, smells, tastes, thinks, and sees depends on what the brain is communicating to the individual’s body. The brain and body have normal functioning patterns and operate according to very specific patterns when a person does not consume substances that cause any type of chemical disruption. However, when chemicals are introduced to the brain, the chemical messengers in the brain are altered, causing the brain to send a different set of signals to the body. Chemicals can cause individuals to see, think, and act very differently than they normally would, which is why drug abuse affects individuals and the world around them.

Different types of drug effect:

Drug abuse and addiction can change a person’s entire life within a very short time period. As a person begins to form a physical and emotional dependency on a particular drug, he or she feels a powerful urge to consume the drug regularly. The extent of an individual’s vulnerability to his or her drug addiction depends on a wide variety of factors, including the person’s genes, mental health, physical health, and environment.

Effects of Alcohol:

Alcohol is a drug, and when a person consumes alcohol, it has an effect on many body systems. The effects begin to occur as soon as the alcohol enters the blood stream. Certain types of alcohol enter the bloodstream more quickly than others. Also, whether or not a person has eaten and how much he or she has eaten can affect how quickly the body absorbs any alcohol that is consumed. Individuals become addicted to alcohol because of the chemical and physical reactions that excessive alcohol use causes. These reactions can cause a person to crave alcohol. If you or a loved one has an addiction to alcohol and needs help, fill out a contact form on this page, or call our helpline at 1-800-928-9139. Representatives are available seven days a week to take your call.

Effects of Factoid:

Carbonated alcoholic beverages, such as beer and champagne, enter the bloodstream more slowly than noncarbonated alcoholic beverages, such as whiskey and vodka. Once alcohol enters the bloodstream, the breathing and heart rate of the individual consuming it immediately slows down. The individual will begin to feel drowsy and often starts to feel confused mentally. If a person drinks a large amount of alcohol, he or she will begin to feel intoxicated within five to 10 minutes. Those who consume small amounts of alcohol will not feel intoxicated so quickly; however, they will experience this effect if they drink continuously. As a person consumes more and more alcohol, he or she will experience mental confusion and drowsiness. The consumer will either fall asleep due to feelings of exhaustion, or the person will remain awake and begin to display behaviors that are very different from the behavior the individual normally displays. The person may also attempt to consume more alcohol due to intense cravings for it. As the alcohol begins to wear off, the person may feel shaky, irritable, and nauseous. He or she may begin to sweat and will often develop an intense headache. Individuals who consume large amounts of alcohol may eventually feel the urge to vomit even if they have not eaten. Because large amounts of alcohol can be poisonous to the body, a person who consumes large amounts of alcohol will often become very sick. The urge to vomit will continue, and the individual may even break out in a fever or rash. The person’s headache is likely to intensify, and the individual’s body will remain sore until the alcohol wears off. Long-term alcohol abuse has physical, emotional, and psychological effects. Individuals who are addicted to alcohol generally have difficulties sustaining relationships or keeping a job.

Most individuals facing this addiction need assistance in the form of rehabilitation in order to overcome their addiction and all of the traumatic drug addiction effects that they’ve experienced. If you suffer from alcohol addiction and need help, call our confidential hotline at 1-800-928-9139 and talk to one of our caring representatives, or fill out a contact form on this page.

Effects of Hallucinogens:

“Information travels through the brain at rapid speeds and is carried by chemical messengers call endure transmitters.” LSD, PCP, and Ecstasy are examples of hallucinogens, and these drugs have the ability to affect a person’s perceptions dramatically. Information travels through the brain at rapid speeds and is carried by chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. Hallucinogens interfere with the function of neurotransmitters, which interferes with the speed at which messages travel. Hallucinogens also alter the function of the nerve cells in the brain by destroying the brain’s nerve fibers. These nerve fibers are called serotonin, which controls a person’s mood and sleep patterns and also controls the heartbeat. Initially, a person who is addicted to hallucinogens will notice sudden mood changes, changes in his or her sleeping behavior, and inconsistencies in his or her heart rhythm. These problems will continue to worsen as the individual becomes more addicted to his or her drug of choice. When serotonin is damaged, it cannot grow back normally, according to scientists. Therefore, the effects of drug abuse for those consuming hallucinogens are irreversible. Individuals who abuse hallucinogens can also become extremely aggressive, making it difficult for them to sustain relationships. If you suffer from an addiction to a hallucinogen of any form, call our free helpline at 1-800-928-9139, or fill out a contact form on this page. Representatives are available seven days a week to answer your questions.

Effects of Opiates:

Opiates are extremely common and quite popular, and they come in many forms. Individuals can receive prescriptions for drugs containing opiates, or they can purchase recreational drugs containing opiates. Opiates are also referred to as narcotics. “Opiates also dramatically affect the function of the brain and body.”Opiates are extremely addictive, particularly because of their ability to provide pain relief and their ability to cause the individual consuming the drug to experience intense feelings of happiness and euphoria. Opiates also dramatically affect the function of the brain and body.

Individuals who consume opiates regularly have a high likelihood of becoming addicted to them because they are very addictive and very potent. It does not take long for the brain to form a dependency to opium. Opium changes the way the nerves in a person’s brain works. Therefore, when a person uses opium continuously, he or she will eventually need to take opium in order for the brain to function.

Effects of Barbiturates:

The effects of drug abuse for individuals who take barbiturates are very similar to the drug effects of consuming opiates. Like opiates, barbiturates change the way the brain works. However, instead of acting as a stimulus, barbiturates act as depressants. Barbiturates are typically prescribed by doctors. They are sedative drugs that have a dramatic effect on an individual’s nervous system. In fact, consuming too many barbiturates can cause the nervous system to shut down. Barbiturates are both physically and psychologically addictive, and they are generally prescribed to individuals who are suffering from anxiety and depression and to individuals who have a history of seizures. Most antidepressant medications are barbiturates. When taken without a prescription, it is common for users of barbiturates to take the drug together with opiates or alcohol, which can be life threatening. Barbiturates can be injected, swallowed, or used as suppositories. They cause users to become disoriented, making them sluggish and sedated. The individual consuming the drug will often experience slurred speech, and the person’s breathing generally becomes shallow. The pupils of the user will begin to dilate, and he or she will have problems with coordination.

Effects of Inhalants:

The effects of drug abuse for individuals using inhalants can cause a host of breathing and respiratory problems. There are a wide range of individuals who regularly inhale gasoline, paint, hairspray, and other everyday products for the sole purpose of getting high. These products usually have a very strong smell, and their vapors often contain a host of chemicals. Individuals who inhale drugs can get addicted very quickly. When individuals inhale substances, the substance being inhaled is absorbed into the blood, brain, fatty tissues, and nervous system. Once the substance enters the body, it stays there for a very long time.

Inhalants also affect the nerve cells in a person’s brain and spinal cord. When foreign chemicals begin to build up, the nervous system will become toxic and will begin to malfunction.

Long-term use of inhalants can cause arrhythmia, which is a serious heart condition. A common gas found in most inhalants is called butane, and this gas has chemicals that send messages to the brain. When inhaled, butane and other chemicals first go to the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that controls movement. This can initially make the user clumsy and uncoordinated. Prolonged use of inhalants will cause permanent damage to the cerebellum and to the brain’s frontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that allows individuals to plan schedules and solve problems.

Effects on Education:

Education is the principal means of preventing drug abuse. In addition to educational institutions, other settings are important for the contributions they make to learning and socialization. Home, workplace and religious institutions, to name three examples, are settings for the education of young and old alike. Most officials support the full integration of drug abuse education into mainstream institutions, whether public and private, religious or secular. An issue, often unstated, is whether, to have real impact on the drug problem, society or the individual should be the initial target for change. Seeking the root causes focuses on the social conditions that lead persons to engage in drug abuse. Slow and indirect, education is often seen as producing its results only over the long run, involving parents and making gradual social changes to reduce experimentation, occasional or regular drug use. The short-term approach (to control the supply of drugs) and the long-term demand reduction approach by education are two ends of a continuum which are often placed in opposition to each other. In reality, both are essential parts of comprehensive view of prevention of drug abuse.


Countries vary in the way they define crime. In the drug abuse field, however, a common conceptual structure is provided by international drug treaties. Several of the treaties have obligations which require penal provisions in national law for illicit traffic offences (1, p. 4). Requirements concerning illicit demand are more complicated. Countries implement both supply and demand obligations in enormously varied ways. Crime and drugs may be related in several ways, none of them simple. First, illicit production, manufacture, distribution or possession of drugs may constitute a crime. Secondly, drugs may increase the likelihood of other, non-drug crimes occurring. Thirdly, drugs may be used to make money, with subsequent money-laundering.

And fourthly, drugs may be closely linked to other major problems, such as the illegal use of guns, various forms of violence and terrorism. Whether illicit drug use should be considered a crime, a disease, a social disorder or some mixture of these is debated in many countries. Often, public policy is ambivalent about the nature of addiction, with social attitudes towards drug abuse reflecting uncertainty about what causes abuse and who is ultimately responsible. A continuum exists in relation to accepted social status and crime. At one end is law-abiding behavior and at the other, criminal activity. Between these two extremes are found deviant behavior and delinquency. Many marginal persons who use drugs do not go on to become delinquents or criminals. If progression along this continuum does not take place within a country, the concept of progression is even less applicable across cultures.

Work and employment:

Work status includes more than being either employed or unemployed. Also to be considered are the rate of underemployment and the extent of work in the informal sector. What is perceived as an employment problem also varies according to the views of society. For example, if youth have low status in a particular culture, the fact that they are disproportionately unemployed, not to mention under employed, may be of little interest to decision makers. If a society places youth in a marginal status until some distant adulthood, it is even more difficult for young people who have been associated with drugs to obtain productive employment. These adverse effects on youth may also appear for female youth, who in some cultures do not normally have prospects for occupational roles outside the home. According to “an estimated 30 per cent of the world’s labor force is not productively employed. More than 120 million people are registered as unemployed; some 700 million are underemployed”. Further, the disparity between the income levels of people in rich and poor countries is growing larger, and even when there has been a drop in poverty levels in some countries, the distribution of income.


Cocaine use can cause cardiovascular disturbances such as heart palpitations and increased heart rate. In rare occurrences, cocaine has caused sudden death after first time use, the National Institute on Drug Abuse notes. Cardiac arrest and respiratory arrest can also result from cocaine abuse. Overdosing from heroin can cause convulsions, coma and death. Examine, or Special K, which is used for human anesthesia and veterinary medicine, can cause fatal respiratory failure when taken in high doses. Tolerance to a drug can occur, leading to taking more and more of a drug in order to produce a high. Developing a tolerance for a drug can lead to accidental overdose.

Incurable Effects:

Illegal drug use can put your fetus at risk for developing dependency, as well as serious health risks. The Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford asserts that nearly every type of drug can transfer to the fetus via the placenta. Marijuana use during pregnancy can result in behavioral issues for the child. If you use cocaine during your pregnancy, your infant has a higher risk of dying from sudden infant death syndrome, the Packard Children’s Hospital reports. Babies born from mothers addicted to opiates, such as heroin, can develop withdrawal symptoms and also have a risk for SIDS and apnea.

 Other Effects:

The risks of illegal drug use can cause long-term damage. (Photo: Jupiter images/ Images) Long-term use of opiates can damage your veins, heart and lungs. Sharing needles to inject drugs can put you at risk for developing diseases like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C. Illegal drug use can impair your judgment, leading to injury or death if you drive. The mixing of drugs can cause undesirable effects on your body. For example, the combination of alcohol with drugs such as cocaine can cause confusion, respiratory failure.

 Family violence:

Family violence (or domestic violence) occurs where a person uses violent and/or abusive behavior to control another person who they have some type of “family” relationship. Despite what is commonly believed family violence is not limited to relationships between husbands, wives and their children. It also includes violence between defector couples, gay and lesbian couples, boyfriends and girlfriends and the extended family (relatives) of those couples, including step-children and adopted children.

Family violence may include, but is not limited to, criminal behaviors such as:

  • assault (for example slapping, punching, kicking, grabbing, pushing)
  • threats to physically harm a person
  • confining a person against their will
  • sexual assault
  • child abuse or neglect
  • damage to another person’s property
  • stalking
  • Breach of a Domestic Violence Order.
  • :
    • verbal or emotional abuse (for example name calling, humiliation, making another person feel worthless, insults)
    • Financial abuse (for example, withholding and/or controlling finances).

Social Effects:

Drug abuse is an issue that is attracting much attention and condemnation in the society. Drugs by simple definition include those in raw or unprocessed and those in finished or processed forms. Among these are cocaine, Indian hemps, and heroine. However, Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary of English defines ‘abuse’ as the act of making bad or wrong use of something. When drugs are therefore taken in an unlawful manner, such act is termed ‘drug abuse’. It is however pertinent to examine the causes and consequences of the act in order to nip it in the bud. One of the factors that encourage it is lack of parental care. Parents / guardians have major roles to play in the moral upbringing of their children. When parents / guardians fail to give proper moral orientation to their children, this may result to negative behavior in the future, one of these being ‘drug abuse’. Many of those that are involved in drug abuse were influenced by their friends either in school or outside the school.

This therefore connotes that parents / guardians need to watch out for the kind of friends their children are moving with both in the school and outside it. Frustration in life due to factors like unemployment, disease, marital conflicts, broken home, dropping out from school among others could lead youths to drug taking while lack of stiff penalty for the culprits further goes a long way in encouraging it in the society. When those involved are not apprehended and punished, others would want to imitate them based on the believe that they too would enjoy the same freedom. Lack of proper education of youths on the dangers inherent in drug taking further encourages it. Government therefore needs to educate the masses in this regard. The negative effects of drug taking in the society cannot be underestimated. Due to drug abuse, many youths are now into social vices like stealing, pilfering, assassinations, armed robbery and prostitution. It is believed that such drugs give them the boldness to involve in such acts. The issue encourages high death rate in the society. Many of those youths involved die prematurely because of the inability of their body system to cope with such drugs. Many lunatics are in the major streets today because of their dealings in Indian hemp, cocaine, heroin and other dangerous narcotics.

Drugs not only have physical effects, but they have social effects as well. Drug abuse can cause individuals to isolate themselves, which can lead to depression. Drug abuse can negatively affect the relationships that individuals have with those whom they love, including their parents and children. Drug abuse can cause individuals to skip important events, miss work, and slack off pretty regularly. Drug abuse can also cause individuals to become aggressive, making it difficult for them to make and keep friends. A person addicted to drugs has a difficult time setting goals and often lacks confidence. Regularly using and abusing drugs can also cause the following:

  • Lack of motivation and drive
  • Feelings of anger and resentment toward others
  • Drastic changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Unwillingness to deal with personal problems, causing them to become worse
  • Emotional instability
  • Desire to experiment with various drugs

The effects of drug abuse are quite serious, which is why so many people choose to seek help. If you or a loved one needs help overcoming an addiction to any type of drug, fill out a contact form on this page, or contact us today at Illicit drug and alcohol use is a fact of life in today’s society. To use or not to use such substances is a decision which all young people must address for themselves at an early age. Governments, schools and social programmers have attempted to forestall such abusive behavior by young people through school and community based programmers as well as broad advertising campaigns, taxation and law enforcement. Yet the continued presence of substance abuse by youth in this country is unquestionable testimony to the fact that we need to ado a more effective job for the sake of our young people and the well-being of our society. Despite the efforts and concerns of many and the varied approaches utilized to address this issue – ranging from abstinence to harm reduction – the fact remains that we need to make our anti-abuse efforts more effective than they generally are today. Narconon’s Drug Abuse Prevention Program is a supplemental program designed to increase the effectiveness of existing anti-abuse programs by providing substantive information which young people can understand and utilize to make personal, informed decisions regarding their use of such substances.

The global context:

Global increases in problems of illicit drugs both reflect and contribute to international tensions. The origins of some of these tensions are clear: rapid changes in political alignment, reduced family and community cohesiveness, increased unemployment and underemployment, economic and social Marginalization and increased crime. At a time when dramatic improvements are taking place in some sectors, e.g. communications and technology, improvement of the quality of life for many people has fallen far short of the potential that exists and the rising expectation of people who know life can be better. At a time of rising social and Political tensions, the macroeconomic environment has fundamentally changed. World trade and investment have expanded and brought to some areas of the developed and developing world substantial economic benefits. Capital, goods and people move much more frequently and freely across national borders than was the case previously.

 Growing plants to produce drugs:

  • The production of drugs may be divided into three categories:
  • those processes which require only plant products,
  • those involving a semi-synthetic process where natural materials are partly changed by synthetic substances to produce the final product and
  • Processes which use only manmade chemicals to produce consumable drugs. Examples of these three are:
  • opium gathered in the fields for home use,
  • coca bush leaves processed to make cocaine and
  • Narcotic or psychotropic drugs made entirely in the laboratory or factory.

 Distribution and illicit trafficking:

Illicit drug trafficking takes place in most countries of the world. Recognition of illegal importation and distribution, a criminal activity frequently involving foreigners, is politically less troublesome than purely domestic illicit production or consumption. The involvement of outsider’s makes smuggling or illicit dealing appear less of a home-based problem. Few countries are immune to drug abuse problems. Indeed, in most countries, what were formerly thought of as safe places – religious, penal or educational institutions – have now been found to have some form of drug problems?  Illicit traffic in drugs is now common in prisons because a significant percentage of inmates are drug abusers. Individuals acting alone do not usually move significant quantities of drugs; hence the focus on control of supply is normally on organized groups or cartels.

Symptoms of drug use:

Most drug addictions start with casual or social use of a drug. For some people, using the drug becomes a habit, and its use becomes more and more frequent. As time passes, you may need larger doses of the drug to get high. Soon you may need the drug just to feel good. As your drug use increases, you may find that it becomes increasingly difficult to go without the drug. Stopping may cause intense cravings and make you feel physically ill (withdrawal symptoms).

  • Feeling that you have to use the drug regularly this can be daily or even several times a day
  • Failing in your attempts to stop using the drug
  • Making certain that you maintain a supply of the drug
  • Doing things to obtain the drug that you normally wouldn’t do, such as stealing
  • Feeling that you need the drug to deal with your problems
  • Driving or doing other risky activities when you’re under the influence of the drug
  • Focusing more and more time and energy on getting and using the drug      recognizing drug abuse in teenagers. It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish normal teenage moodiness or angst from signs of drug use. Possible indications that your teenager is using drugs include:
  • Frequently missing classes or missing school, a sudden disinterest in school or school activities, or a drop in grades may be indicators of drug use.
  • Lack of energy and motivation may indicate your child is using certain drugs.
  • Teenagers are generally concerned about how they look. A lack of interest in clothing, grooming or looks may be a warning sign of drug use.
  • Teenagers enjoy privacy, but exaggerated efforts to bar family members from entering their rooms or knowing where they go with their friends might indicate drug use. Also, drastic changes in behavior and in relationships with family and friends may be linked to drug use.
  •  Sudden requests for money without a reasonable explanation for its use may be a sign of drug use. You may also discover money stolen from previously safe places at home. Items may disappear from your home because they’re being sold to support a drug habit.

Recognizing signs of drug use and dependence

The particular signs and symptoms of drug use and dependence vary depending on the type of drug. You might be able to tell that a family member or a friend is using or abusing a drug based on the physical and behavioral signs and symptoms associated with the drug.

Marijuana and hashish:

It’s possible to develop a psychological addiction to cannabis compounds including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana and hashish. People who have a marijuana addiction generally use the drug on a daily basis. They don’t actually have a chemical dependence on the drug but rather feel the need to regularly use the drug.

  • A heightened sense of visual, auditory and taste perception
  • Poor memory
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Red eyes
  • Decreased coordination
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased appetite
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Paranoid thinking

Barbiturates and benzodiazepines:

  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Lack of coordination
  • Memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Slowed breathing and decreased blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Depression

Methamphetamine, cocaine and other stimulants:

This class of drugs includes amphetamines, methamphetamine, cocaine and methylphenidate (Ritalin).

  • Euphoria
  • Decreased appetite
  • Rapid speech
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Depression as the drug wears off
  • Nasal congestion and damage to the mucous membrane of the nose in users who snort drugs
  • Insomnia
  • Weight loss
  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure and temperature
  • Paranoia

Methamphetamine, also known as “meth,” is a particularly dangerous drug. It’s highly addictive and causes a number of short-term and long-term health consequences. Methamphetamine is relatively inexpensive and widely available.

Club drugs:
Club drugs are drugs commonly used by teens and young adults at clubs, concerts and parties. Examples include Ecstasy (MDMA), GHB, Rohypnol (“roofers”) and examine. These drugs are not all classified in the same category, but they share some similar effects and dangers.

  • An exaggerated feeling of great happiness or well-being (euphoria)
  • Reduced inhibitions
  • A heightened or altered sense of sight, sound and taste
  • Amphetamine-like effects (with examine and Ecstasy)
  • Decreased coordination
  • Poor judgment
  • Memory problems or loss of memory
  • Increased or decreased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Drowsiness and loss of consciousness (with GHB and Rohypnol).

GHB and Rohypnol are particularly dangerous. At high doses, they can cause seizures, coma and death. The danger increases when these drugs are taken with alcohol. Because they worsen consciousness and memory and they’re easy to give someone without his or her knowledge or consent, these drugs are both commonly used as date-rape drugs. One particular danger of club drugs is that the liquid, pill or powder forms of these drugs available on the street often contain unknown substances that can be harmful, including other illegally manufactured or pharmaceutical drugs.

Use of hallucinogens produces different signs and symptoms depending on the drug. The most common hallucinogens are LSD and phencyclidine (PCP).

  • Hallucinations
  • Greatly reduced perception of reality, for example, interpreting input from one of your senses as another, such as hearing colors
  • Permanent mental changes in perception
  • Rapid heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Tremors
  • Flashbacks, a re-experience of the hallucinations even years later
  • Hallucinations
  • Euphoria
  • Delusions
  • Panic
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Aggressive, possibly violent behavior

The signs and symptoms of inhalant use vary depending on what substance is inhaled. Some commonly inhaled substances include glue, paint thinners, correction fluid, felt tip marker fluid, gasoline, cleaning fluids and household aerosol products.  When inhaled, these products can cause brief intoxication and a decreased feeling of inhibition. Long-term use may cause seizures and damage to the brain, liver and kidneys. Inhalant use can also cause death.

Narcotic painkillers:
Uploads are narcotic, painkilling drugs produced naturally from opium or made synthetically. This class of drugs includes heroin, morphine, codeine, and methadone. If you’re prescribed these medications by a doctor, take them exactly as directed. Don’t increase your dose without first talking to your doctor.

  • Reduced sense of pain
  • Sedation
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Slowed breathing
  • Needle marks (if injecting drugs)

When to see a doctor:
If you think your drug use is out of control or is causing problems, get help. The sooner you seek help, the greater your chances are for a long-term recovery. Your family doctor may be a good place to start, or you may see a mental health provider such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.

  • You can’t stop using a drug.
  • Your drug use has led to unsafe behavior, such as sharing needles or unprotected sex.
  • You think you may be having withdrawal symptoms. If you’re reluctant to approach a doctor, help lines or hotlines may be a good place to learn about treatment. You can find these lines listed in the phone book or on the Internet.
  • May have overdosed
  • Loses consciousness
  • Has trouble breathing
  • Has seizures
  • Has signs of a heart attack, such as chest pain or pressure
  • Has any other troublesome physical or psychological reaction to use of the drug



Despite recent strong economic growth, poverty in Bangladesh continues to be pervasive. Nearly half of its 130 million populations live below the poverty line. Bangladesh features the third highest number of poor people living in a single country after India and China. These challenges are magnified by a population density of roughly 800 people per square kilometer one of the highest in the world. Such poverty fuels many high-risk behavior patterns, including commercial sex work. This is obviously a risk factor for the spread of HIV. While, as an Islamic country, Bangladesh proscribes the consumption of alcohol, there is significant abuse of this substance. Porous borders with India and Myanmar permit trafficking in drugs and other contraband.


A drug can be said to be any substance use in medicine. It can also be said to be any substance taken by some people to get certain effect, such as happiness and excitement. Driving from these definitions above, drugs can be classified into two categories; the soft Drug antibiotics and analgesics. And the hard drugs  cocaine, marijuana heroin. Consequently, a drug addict is said to be someone whose life has become dependent on drugs, hence drug abuse.

 Production and cultivation:

Cannabis is still cultivated, particularly in the districts of Naogaon, Rajshahi, Jamalpur and Nerrokona in the northwestern region, as well as the hilly districts near Cox’s Bazaar, Banderban, Khagrachhari and Rangamati in the southeast (bordering Myanmar). Reliable figures for the total area of cannabis production in Bangladesh are not available, but cultivation in the Chittagong Hill Tract region is reportedly on the increase. The army and the Bangladesh Rifles in the southeastern hilly region have reported that the overall cannabis production has increased significantly in recent years.

This increase in production is not apparent in the table below, which depicts only the seizures carried out by the field staff of DNC. The seizures of 1-2 metric tons of cannabis herb per year in Bangladesh represents about 0.03% of the global seizures of an average of 4,741 metric tons of cannabis herb per year (UNODC 2004).

Crop eradication appears not to be undertaken systematically, and information on seizures by the army and Bangladesh Rifles is not regularly reported to DNC. There are anecdotal reports of small quantities of opium cultivation in Bandarban district along Myanmar border.


Bangladesh is not believed to manufacture any narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances illicitly. It also does not manufacture any precursor chemicals except hydrochloric acid and sulphuric acid.


Bangladesh seizures (in kg)

  Name1996 1997 1998 1999 2000


















Other drugs*












 Bangladesh is a transit country for drugs produced in the Golden Triangle and, to a much lesser degree, the Golden Crescent. Reports from the Indian Narcotics Control Bureau also indicate that heroin is smuggled from India to Bangladesh through the porous Indo- Bangladesh border. There were seven seizures of heroin hidden in fresh vegetable shipments from Dhaka into the UK in 2003 (INCSR 2003). Dhaka airport and the seaport of Chittagong appear to be preferred exit points. Heroin seizures have been about 30-40 kg per year during the past four years except during 2000 and 2002. During 2003, law enforcement agencies seized 34 kg heroin, 1,906 kg ganja (cannabis herb) (ARQ 2003), 28,288 liters of Phensidyl, 1,276 ampoules of pethidine and 2,898 ampoules of Tidigesic (INCSR 2003). Nonetheless, the smuggling in, diversion and abuse of pharmaceuticals originating from India is considered to be the largest drug problem in Bangladesh.

Diversion of drugs and precursors:

Bangladesh does not manufacture any substance listed in Table I and Table II of the 1988 Convention other than Sulphuric Acid and Acetic Acid. It imports a number of precursors for use in domestic industry. There is no recorded misuse of precursors for illicit manufacture of drugs in the country. Ephedrine, pseudo-ephedrine, ergometrine, toluene and potassium permanganate are imported by the country for industrial, scientific and research purposes. Even though the Narcotics Control Act, 1990 includes sanctions against diversion of precursor chemicals, Bangladesh does not have a very effective system for control except the issuance of permits for the import of precursors and pre-export notifications of these substances.

Although the new rules for exercising more effective controls are now in place, their effectiveness is hampered due to a shortage of trained law enforcement personnel. It has been observed that the level of coordination between agencies dealing with precursor controls is not optimal.

 Drug prices:

Comparable to information provided in sections on India and Nepal.


Bangladesh has clearly moved from being a transit country to one where so-called ‘hard ‘drugs are used. The number of drug users is increasing in both urban and rural areas. The number of injecting drug users (IDUs) is also on the rise, with the majority using burin morphine. The drug most frequently used by drug-dependent persons reporting to treatment centers is heroin. Phensidyl, a codeine-based cough syrup imported from India, is generally considered to be the most widely abused drug. There are approximately 20,000 -25,000 IDUs in the country (Reid and Costigan 2002). The most commonly injected drug is buprenorphine (commonly known by the trade name Tidigesic. Polydrug use is common and may include marijuana, Tidigesic, Phensidyl alcohol, codeine, nitrazepam, ‘brown sugar’ (heroin ‘cooked’ with vitamin C) and diazepam. The National Assessment of Situation and Responses to Upload / Opiate use in Bangladesh (NASROB) was conducted in 24 districts by the Family Health International and Care Bangladesh (Panda et al 2002). The survey included a collection of both secondary as well as primary data, which comprised of observations, key informant interviews, focus group discussions and interviews with drug users. In most districts both heroin smokers and drug injectors were found. Ten percent of all drug users who reported ever having smoked heroin started doing so at the age of 17 or earlier.

Three percent of all injectors started injecting before the age of 18 years. The mean age of onset for heroin smoking was 24 years, while the mean age of onset for IDU was 28 years. The dynamics of switching to injecting from heroin smoking were also studied and the finding that 87% of current IDUs had once been Heroin smokers and many drug users went back and forth from one type of drug use to another, suggests that the drug use pattern keeps changing. More than 25% of IDUs in districts with outreach interventions, 99% of IDUs in districts without outreach interventions and 99% of all heroin smokers in all districts were not in contact with any outreach programmed. The study also reported that a spillover of illicit drugs occurs around the drug trafficking network.

Along with injecting-related risk behaviors, several sexual risk behaviors were also noted and are described in the section below. Among recent studies, Rahman (2004) investigated the patterns of drug abuse among 196 drug users who had been admitted to a drug-dependence treatment centre in Dhaka. The mean age was 25.3 years, while age at onset of drug use was about 21 years. The mean duration of addiction was 42.1 months. Common drugs of abuse were: codeine-containing cough syrups (about 65%), heroin (about 45%), cannabis (about 45%), sedatives (about 17%), inject able uploads (11.7%).

Costs and consequences:

In the study cited the money spent by addicts on drugs and found that the amount spent per year was much higher than the average per capita income of Bangladeshis. Applying the findings of the study to the total population of drug users in Bangladesh, the author estimated that the total amount spent by drug users in Bangladesh would be extremely high if compared with the annual expenditure for healthcare or drugs or the allocation for development programmers in Bangladesh. The study suggests that growing criminal activities in Bangladesh could be partly attributable to drug abuse. The NASROB cited above (Panda et al 2002) also reported many social/legal adverse consequences of drug use. About 28% of heroin smokers had been arrested or had had encounters with local law enforcement. Similarly, IDUs at two kinds of sites – those with outreach interventions (17%) and those without (22%) – reported that police had arrested them. Human rights activist groups have also reported and expressed concern over instances of extortion and abuse of IDUs by police in Bangladesh (HRW 2003). Among health-related consequences, one-fifth of heroin smokers and one-fourth of current IDUs reported a drug overdose in the NASROB (Panda et al 2002). Other consequences reported were those related to use of contaminated injection equipment. Between 11% to 36% of IDUs reported the occurrence of abscesses within the previous month.

Those with a longer duration of injecting drug use were more likely to report abscesses. IDUs recruited from districts with outreach interventions reported a significantly lower occurrence of abscesses. Behaviors related to the sharing of injection equipment were also studied. Of note was the finding that IDUs in areas with interventions reported significantly lower sharing of injecting equipment (19%) than those in non-intervention areas (67%). Interventions have been effective in reducing the size of the sharing group (of needles and syringes) among IDUs. In areas where such interventions occurred, 25% of IDUs shared with three persons or more against a much higher 40% in areas where no outreach programmed existed.

In contrast to 87% of the current IDUs from intervention sites, only 66% of IDUs in districts without outreach interventions knew that syringe and needles sharing could spread HIV. Regarding high-risk sexual behaviors, about 70% of unmarried drug users had been sexually active within the previous month. Over 70% of all drug users reported sex with sex workers. A noticeable observation was that there was little difference condom use practices among current IDUs from intervention and non-intervention sites. This is of concern as 10% of the male respondents reported sex with male and condom use in those situations was very low. In a study on IDUs in treatment in Bangladesh, Fleckenstein et al (1997) studied IDUs under treatment and reported that all the subjects shared needles, although most were aware of the health hazards of such practices. Similarly, Starker et al (1998) interviewed 234 IDUs in the Dhaka city after extensive ethnographic observations. Eighty-two percent shared their needles/syringes, and 48% shared with more than ten persons, in spite of a reasonable degree of knowledge of HIV/AIDS. Sixty percent had heard about HIV/AIDS, and one-fourth knew that needle sharing might transmit HIV/AIDS. Ahmed (2000) reported similar findings, stating that out of 100 IDUs enrolled in an NSEP, 95% had demonstrated an understanding of HIV/AIDS and its mode of transmission and the method of its prevention. Despite having knowledge of the risks of needle and syringe sharing, 92% of the respondents continued the practice. Shirring et al (2000) investigated the prevalence and risk factors of HBV and HCV infections among drug users attending a drug-addiction treatment centre in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Of the 266 addicts, 129 were IDUs, and 137 were non-IDUs. The sero-prevalence of Hbs Ag, anti- HBc, anti-HBs, and anti-HCV antibodies among the IDUs was 6.2%, 31.8%, 11.6% and 25% respectively. Corresponding figures among the non-IDUs were 4.4%, 24%, 6.6% and 5.8% respectively. Although the prevalence of HBV infection did not significantly differ between the IDUs and the non-IDUs, the prevalence of HCV infection was significantly higher among the IDUs.

Among the IDUs, the prevalence of both HBV and HCV infections was associated with sharing of needles and longer duration of inject able drugs used. The sero-prevalence of HBV infection in both IDUs and non-IDUs was significantly higher among those who had a history of extramarital and premarital sex. Islam et al (2003) studied not only the risk behaviors but also the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among 250 IDUs and 255 non-IDUs. Among IDUs the sero-prevalence rate was 5.6%. Among non-IDUs it was 1.96%. The sero-positive drug users used multiple drugs for longer periods of time and also had higher prevalence of sexual risk behaviors. Of a dramatic rise in HIV prevalence amongst IDUs in Central Bangladesh (from 1.4% to 4% within 3 years). At the same time, however, the prevalence has remained low (<1%) amongst other at-risk groups.

In the same report concern was expressed on sexual risk behaviors and mobility of IDUs in Central Bangladesh, which may lead to a spread of the epidemic in the general population. The IDUs in this region are more likely to have a sex worker as a sex partner. In addition, 10% of them have sex with other men including male sex workers.

Money laundering:

Bangladesh enacted anti-money-laundering legislation in 2002. The Act (see below) appears to be quite comprehensive but since it was only passed relatively recently, it may be too early to judge implementation.

Stage of drug involvement:

In developing an understanding of drug use, and the reasons for it, it is useful to know something about the sequential nature of drug involvement. First, involvement tends to follow a typical sequence (Kandel, 1975; Yamaguchi & Kandel, 1984a, 1984b). People do not just start smoking marijuana or using heroin–that is very rare. The sequencing tends to follow a pattern, which is not invariant, but 80 to 90 percent of all the youngsters we look at who use drugs fit this kind of pattern. They start either with alcohol or tobacco and usually go on to the other one. Widely recognized as a next step in drug-use progression is marijuana use, but less widely recognized as an early step is the use of inhalants, which are used mostly among younger adolescents. In fact, until this past year, inhalants were the most widely used illicit drug among eighth graders–even higher than marijuana, however because marijuana use has risen sharply, it has overtaken inhalants in prevalence of use. For various reasons the use of inhalants has not received much attention.

Inhalant use involves legal, inexpensive, easily available drugs (household products in the main) affording all youngsters ready access at virtually no cost. They believe inhalant use is safe, although it is not at all. Such use is probably an important early indicator of youngsters who are going to get into trouble and I think we need to do more to address this indicator and to educate youngsters about the inherent dangers of such use. After these important initial steps into illicit drug use, youngsters may next try any of a number of other illicit drugs including LSD, cocaine, amphetamines (for many years one of the most widely used classes of drugs), and/or any of the controlled psychotherapeutic drugs. Finally, after that intermediate step, a smaller number begin to use crack and/or heroin. Most of the young people who use either of these drugs already have used one or more drugs in the intermediate group.

Fortunately, not all youngsters complete this sequence of involvement. Most stop at alcohol or tobacco use and many stop at marijuana use. There is gradual, and to some degree age-graded, involvement with drugs. The pattern of progressive involvement is correlated with youngsters’ perceptions of how dangerous the drugs are. (See Johnston et al., 1995.) Also related to the progression, I believe, is the perceived deviance of the behavior. It is not very deviant to use alcohol and tobacco in a society which widely extols their virtues, although it is somewhat deviant for a youngster to do that. It is more deviant to cross the line into illegal drug use and even more so to use so-called harder drugs. And finally, heroin has always been seen as the most deviant of all. For any particular drug, there also are different stages of involvement. These stages move through experimentation, occasional use, regular use, and on to addiction for some drugs. And of course, the motives for the different degrees of involvement are somewhat different (Yamaguchi & Kindle, 1984b). In this paper, I will focus on the earlier stages in the involvement cycle, because in our studies few respondents are addicts. It is clear that the psychopharmacological properties of drugs become more and more important to the reinforcement pattern as an individual becomes more involved. Neurological change may occur, and a drug can become necessary in order to be normal neurologically.

 The connection between crime and drug:

Several different kinds of connections between drugs and crime can be distinguished. The first is that people do criminal things while under the influence of a drug. They may engage in assaultive or other aggressive acts. That is certainly true for alcohol: By far the most aggression which occurs under the influence of drugs, occurs with alcohol. It is relatively less true for most of the illicit drugs. Those illicit drugs that may lead to such behavior are the stimulants—cocaine, crack, amphetamines—where heavy use can cause a paranoid syndrome to develop and with that, aggressive acts resulting from the pharmacological properties of the drug. But most drugs, and certainly marijuana, do not seem to lead to aggressive behavior as a result of their pharmacological properties. And, of course, in the advanced stages of involvement, violent acts may be associated with supporting the habit—the second connection with crime. When an addict’s desire for the drug is very high, he often will do whatever is necessary to get it: stealing from his family, stealing from friends or employers, shoplifting, etc. But as these property crimes continue, aggression may be used in muggings to get a purse, robberies, and so forth. So addiction represents an important factor in criminal behavior, although it relates primarily to property crime. Crime associated with dealing a drug is a third, very important part of the drugs-crime connection.

There has always been some violence of this sort, but the advent of cocaine and crack seemed to shift the amount and brutality of the violence to a higher level. Fourth, a new problem has emerged, which now is becoming quite serious. It is derivative from our policies about drug users and drug dealers. The use of minimum mandatory sentencing has overcrowded prisons with non-violent offenders and, as a result, is forcing other types of offenders back onto the street earlier than they would have been otherwise. This may well result in an increase in violent crime. Finally, it should be noted that, while non-drug-related delinquent or criminal acts tend to be highly correlated with drug use, much of this association is due to a more general common determinant which might be called “deviance proneness.” We have shown that most of the variance in drug use and other deviant behaviors can be explained by this common factor (Osgood, Johnston, O’Malley, & Bachman, 1988) although some variance in drug-using behaviors remains to be explained by determinants specific to them. In fact, in an earlier chapter we raised the question of whether any of the levels of drug involvement, short of addiction, actually contributed to a person’s involvement in either property crime or interpersonal aggression (Johnston, O’Malley, & Eve land, 1978).



The constitution of Bangladesh provides “to enjoy the protection of the law and to be treated in accordance with law, is an undeniable right of every citizen, wherever he may be, and of every other person for the time being in Bangladesh, and in particular no action detrimental to the life, liberty, body, reputation or property of any person shall be taken except in accordance with law”. The constitution further provides that “every person accused of a criminal offence shall have the right to a speedy and public trial by an independent and impartial court or tribunal established by law.

The Preventive detention law:

The Special Powers Act of 1974 authorizes the Government to detain any person in order to prevent them from committing certain prejudicial acts. This is the only article of law that allows the Government to preventively detain anyone. The frequent use of the Special Powers Act has been used as an example of deficiencies in the criminal justice system to deal with alleged criminals.

Crime control institutions:

The administration of justice is the responsibility of the judiciary, which comprises the Supreme Court, the Appellate Divisions and the High Court at the higher level, followed by a hierarchy of civil and criminal courts at the district level; and finally, village courts in rural areas and conciliatory courts in municipal areas. The Supreme Court is located in Dhaka. The Courts of District and Sessions Judge, Additional District and Session Judges, Subordinate Judge and Assistant Sessions Judge deal with both civil and criminal cases. The court of Assistant Judge deals only with civil cases. The Courts of District Magistrate, Additional District Magistrate, Magistrate of First, Second and Third Class deal with criminal cases only. The Metropolitan Magistracy, functioning in four major cities of the country, also deals with criminal cases. In most criminal cases in the Courts of Magistrates, and to some extent in the Court of Sessions, some categories of police officials have to play the role of prosecutors. Besides the police officers, the lawyers appointed as public prosecutors and assistant public prosecutors also act as prosecutors in the Court of Sessions. Ensuring the respect of these laws and ordinances is the primarily responsibility of the police administration, which comprises over 500 police stations.

An Inspector General of Police, under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs, heads the Police department. In case of violations, the offence is reported to the officer-in-charge of the police station in the form of a first information report (FIR). Police strategies for keeping pace with the developments in crime have generally taken the form of increasing the police manpower. The Bangladesh Police is a national force. Police stations are the basic units of the police service delivery mechanisms. Approximately 64% of the force is engaged in maintaining public order, with 20% dealing with investigations and inquiries, and about 1% involved in training. Constables comprise 75% of the force. Only 1% of the force is engaged with management and supervision (1997). Following an increase in manpower in 1997, the proportion of management and supervisions fell to 0.74%.

Convention adherence:

Bangladesh is not a signatory to the Transnational Organized Crime Convention of 2002, nor any of the three related Protocols on human trafficking, migrants and firearms. It is also not a signatory to the 2003 Corruption Convention. Bangladesh is a signatory to all three UN Conventions on drug abuse and trafficking, namely the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances 1971 and the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances 1988.

Licit control drugs and precursors:

Bangladesh is a signatory to all the three UN Conventions of 1961, 1971 and 1988 and the SAARC Convention on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1990. In view of its obligations under these conventions and the potential for diversion of precursors due to its close proximity to heroin-producing localities in South East Asia, the country has imposed restrictions on the import of precursors. The 1990 Narcotics Control Act was amended in 2002 and 22 precursor chemicals, as stated in Tables I and II of the 1988 Convention, were included. Sections 19 and 20 of the Act prohibit any kind of illegal operations regarding narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances as well as precursor chemicals. Additionally, rules relating to the licensing of precursor chemicals were framed and adopted. The Narcotics Control Act prohibits import, export, sale, purchase, manufacture, processing, transport, possession, use or any other kinds of the operations except for medicinal, scientific, or legitimate industrial purposes under license, permit or pass (section 9).

The Department of Narcotics Control issues licenses, permits or passes. However, they cannot be issued to persons with a criminal record (sections 11& 12). Handling precursors without the requisite license permit or pass attracts imprisonment of 2 to 10 years while violation of any condition of the license attracts imprisonment of up to 5 years and a fine. Importers require an import license and an import authorization to import precursors from the Department of Narcotics Control. On arrival of the consignment, DNC verifies the physical stock and use of the precursor. Bangladesh does not export any precursors. Most imports are from India, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Japan, the UK and Italy. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in consultation with the Drug Administration and the Ministry of Home Affairs, agreed on an arrangement for the control of selected pharmaceutical products at the retailer’s point that are often subject to illicit use. Under this arrangement, the field force of DNC and the Drug Administration are empowered to carry out a search in any drug store on the sale of some selected products. In this respect, DNC is empowered to lodge cases with the police station if anyone is found guilty for not keeping proper records on the sale of higher than the allowable amount of products that are subjected to non-medical illicit use.

Supply reduction:

The supply reduction policy in the country is based on the Narcotics Control Act as amended in 2002. The national development plans in Bangladesh provided explicit strategies on drug abuse control. The Master Plan explicitly defined the long-term objective “to contain and successively reduce the effect on individuals, families, communities and the social fabric of society caused by drug abuse and criminal activities connected with the illicit trafficking of drugs”.

 Demand reduction:

The Narcotics Control Act of 1990 covers the control of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, including provisions for the treatment and rehabilitation of drug dependent people. Bangladesh amended the Narcotics Act in 2002 and this allows the Director General of the Department of Narcotics Control to send drug users for treatment. The demand reduction policy in the country is based on the Narcotics Act (Banglapedia 2002). The Government of Bangladesh recognizes an important complementary role for NGOs in the drug demand reduction sector. HIV/AIDS: National policy on HIV/AIDS and STD related issues (DGHS 1996) came into effect in 1996. The policy recognizes the potential role which IDU can play in the spread of the epidemic.

The policy also recognizes the limitations of an abstinence-oriented approach as well as the high effectiveness of needle exchange programmers or maintenance programmers although the government has not endorsed them. The policy also recommends that the availability of drug treatment and rehabilitation services should be extended. A National AIDS Committee was established in 1985 for the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS. Additionally, a task force with technical experts was established supervising aspects of HIV/AIDS and STD prevention and control. The Bangladesh AIDS Prevention and Control Programmed is within the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. In Bangladesh, prisons come under the purview of the Ministry of Home Affairs. They are run by the prison directorate and manned by the Inspector General of Prisons and his staff of 7,620. The prisons are overcrowded by about 290% with 60% of the prison population in remand (ICPS 2004). Conducting treatment programmers among those in remand is the biggest problem. Overcrowding causes many groups of prisoners to be mixed up. This enables prisoners to share their criminal experiences while in prison. Consequently, this undermines the authority of the prisons and escalates violence and other problems among prisoners. NASROB (see Panda et al 2002) also reported that none of the jails visited had specific programmers for drug users in place. Jail medical officers expressed the need for training that would help them in handling withdrawal symptoms better. They also indicated that regular visits by counselors to drug users in jail and other innovative service provisions such as voluntary confidential testing and counseling for HIV (VCT) should be organized. NASROB recommended the development of programmers for IDUs in areas where no such interventions exist, scaling-up existing programmers to include all IDUs, and designing targeted interventions for heroin smokers to prevent them from switching to injecting. It also recommended developing appropriate interventions for primary prevention of drug use for inland-out-of-school children as well training of police to foster better understanding of an approach to drug users and easier referral to appropriate drug treatment centers.


People of any age, sex or economic status can become addicted to a drug. However, certain factors can affect the likelihood of your developing an addiction. Like many psychological disorders, drug addiction and dependence depends on several things main factors include:

  • Family history of addiction: Drug addiction is more common in some families and likely involves the effects of many genes. If you have a blood relative, such as a parent or sibling, with alcohol or drug problems, you’re at greater risk of developing a drug addiction.
  • Being mal: Men are twice as likely to have problems with drugs.
  • Having another psychological problem: If you have a psychological problem, such as depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder, you’re more likely to become dependent on drugs.
  • Peer pressure: Particularly for young people, peer pressure is a strong factor in starting to use and abuse drugs.
  • Lack of family involvement: A lack of attachment with your parents may increase the risk of addiction, as can a lack of parental supervision.
  • Anxiety, depression and loneliness:  Using drugs can become a way of coping with these painful psychological feelings.
  • Taking a highly addictive drug:  Some drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, cause addiction faster than do others.
  • Environment:  Environmental factors, including your family’s beliefs and attitudes and exposure to a peer group that encourages drug use, seem to play a role in initial drug use.
  • Genes: Once you’ve started using a drug, the development into addiction may be influenced by inherited traits.


Legal Drugs:

Drugs are chemicals that are known to change the way a body functions. People take them when they are ill and when the doctor prescribes them these medicines. Medicines are legal when they are taken in proper doses and when they are prescribed by doctors. However, drug abuse is termed illegal. People indulge in an illegal act when they sell or buy and possess and consume drugs banned in a country. Tobacco and alcohol are two drugs that are legal in most countries though an individual lower than the age of 18 buying tobacco and one lower than 21 buying alcohol is considered illegal in US.

Illegal Drugs:

Whenever we think or hear of the phrase illegal drugs, images of marijuana, chars, LSD, and other psychotic and hallucinogenic come across our minds. Cocaine, heroin, Cannabis, etc. are some of the popularly known illegal drugs. However, abuse of legal drugs is also considered illegal in many jurisdictions. Illegal drugs or controlled drugs carry penalties for consumption and even possession. There are classes of these drugs with different penalties for different classes of different drugs. Thus, all drugs that are banned or prohibited by law in a country can be considered as illegal. One found in possession or dealing in these drugs has to face legal proceedings with a possible prison sentence.

Difference between Legal and Illegal Drugs:

  • Legal drugs are those drugs called medicines and easily available in the market.
  • Illegal drugs are drugs that are outlawed and that carry penalties upon possession and dealing.
  • Coffee, tobacco, and alcohol are legal drugs.
  • Cannabis, cocaine, heroin, LSD, etc. are some of the illegal drugs.
  • Many of the so called illegal drugs were once legal in many countries.
  • Legal drugs like tobacco and alcohol cause more harm than all of the illegal drugs.
  • Painkillers that are legal kill more people than so called illegal drugs.
  • Legal drugs have side effects that are known to us, whereas as illegal drugs are unknown    quantities, the effects are subjective.
  • One has to stay informed about the drugs that are considered illegal in his country to stay on the right side of the law.


Let’s start with some numbers: Globally 125 million to 203 million people use marijuana, 14 million to 56 million use amphetamines, 12 million to 21 million use uploads and 14 million to 21 million use cocaine. Eleven million to 21 million people inject drugs. About 15 million to 39 million people are considered problem users. One in 20 people ages 15 to 64 uses illegal drugs every year. Rates are highest in developed count.ies. The consequences of illegal drug use include severe toxic effects, such as overdose; dependence; violence or injury due to intoxication; and the effects on health from chronic use: cardiovascular disease, cirrhosis and mental disorders. Health effects vary by drug; marijuana use rarely leads to a fatal overdose, for example. And within countries, drug use can be affected by social factors and the availability of certain drugs. The authors point out that many people who use illegal drugs don’t just stop at one, a factor that could cause even more health woes. In looking at mortality rates, though, drug use takes a back seat to some other substances. In 2004 the World Health Organization reported that globally there were 5.1 million deaths due to tobacco use, 2.25 million from alcohol and 250,000 from illegal drug use. But when looking at years of life lost, drugs came in the highest at 2.1 million (followed by alcohol at 1.5 million), since younger people are generally more susceptible to drug-related deaths. A lack of data on a number of issues means it’s not fully known how drug use affects health, society and the economy. Several unanswered questions remain: How many drug users eventually will become dependent? How long will they stay dependent?

And how much does criminalization of drugs reduce the frequency of use. More drug-related policies and better information on drug use prevalence and health effects is needed, the authors said, in high-income countries as well as in developing nations.

  • people who are dependent on drugs and overdose
  • suicides by overdose of people who have no previous history of using drugs
  • accidental poisoning or overdose
  • ecstasy related deaths where people have died from overheating through dancing non-stop in hot clubs rather than from the direct effect of the drugs
  • deaths associated with cigarette smoking
  • deaths from accidents where people are drunk or under the influence of drugs
  • murders and manslaughters where people are drunk or under the influence of drugs
  • deaths from driving while drunk or intoxicated
  • deaths from AIDS among injecting drug users
  • Deaths which had nothing to do with the presence of a drug in the body.


  • Criminal prohibition of drugs has not eliminated or substantially reduced drug use.
  • The drug war has cost society more than drug abuse itself. Costs include the $16 billion the federal government alone spent to fight drugs in 1998. Of this $16 billion, $10.5 billion pays for measures to reduce the supply of drugs. Most of these measures involve law enforcement efforts to interdict or intercept drug supplies at the borders. Costs also include corruption, damage to poor and minority neighborhoods, a world-wide black market in illegal drugs, the enrichment of criminal organizations through their involvement in the drug trade, and an increase in predatory crimes, such as robberies and burglaries, committed by drug addicts who are enslaved to drugs.
  • Most illegal drugs are no more harmful than legal substances, such as cigarettes and alcohol, and therefore, drugs should be treated the same as these other substances.
  • Legalization would free up billions of dollars that the government now spends on police, courts, and corrections to wage war on drugs and would produce significant tax revenues. The money saved could then be spent on drug education, drug treatment, and law enforcement initiatives directed at more serious crimes.
  • Drug prohibition infringes on civil liberties. The U.S. Supreme Court has decided that because drugs are such a horrible thing, it is okay to bend the Fourth Amendment (which relates to searches and seizures) in order to make it easier to secure convictions in drug cases.

Drugs should not be legalized:

  • There are also many arguments against legalization.
  • Legalization would increase the number of casual users which, in turn, would increase the number of drug abusers.
  • More drug users, abusers, and addicts would mean more health problems and lower economic productivity.
  • Although legalization might result in savings in expensive criminal justice costs and provide tax revenues, increased public-health costs and reduced economic productivity due to more drug-dependent workers would offset the financial benefits of legalization.
  • The argument based on the analogy between alcohol and tobacco versus psychoactive drugs is weak because its conclusion—psychoactive drugs should be legalized—does not follow from its premises. It is illogical to say that because alcohol and tobacco take a terrible toll (for example, they are responsible for 500,000 premature deaths each year), a heavy toll from legalization is therefore acceptable. Indeed, the reverse seems more logical: prohibit the use of alcohol, tobacco, and psychoactive drugs because of the harm they all do. Additionally, marijuana, heroin, cocaine, crack, and the rest of the psychoactive drugs are not harmless substances—they have serious negative consequences for the health of users and addictive liability.

Legalizing drugs would make our streets and homes safer:

As Jeffrey Rogers Hummel states in Heroin: The Shocking Story,” April 1988 estimates vary widely for the proportion of violent/property crime related to drugs. Forty percent is a midpoint or measure of central tendency. In an October 1987 survey by Wharton Econometrics for the U.S. Customs Service, the 739 police chiefs responding blamed drugs for 1/5 of murders and rapes, 1/4 of car thefts, 2/5 of robberies and assaults and 1/2 of the nation’s burglaries and thefts.” The numbers are much greater today at the end of the century. History repeats itself and we are re-learning the devastation of 1920’s Prohibition today. Drugs are products, like alcohol in the ’20s, that people want and will ignore the authorities to obtain. Nothing will stop the desire for any product that people want.

The theoretical and statistical correlations between drugs and crime are well established. In a 2 1/2-year study of Detroit crime, Lester P. Silverman, former associate director of the National Academy of Sciences’ Assembly of Behavior and Social Sciences, found that a 10 percent increase in the price of heroin alone “produced an increase of 3.1 percent total property crimes in poor nonwhite neighborhoods.” Armed robbery jumped 6.4 percent and simple assault by 5.6 percent throughout the city.

  • Addicts must shell out hundreds of times the cost of goods, so they often must turn to crime to finance their habits. The higher the price goes, the more they need to steal to buy the same amount.
  • At the same time, those who deal or purchase the stuff find themselves carrying extremely valuable goods, and become attractive targets for assault.
  • Police officers and others suspected of being informants for law enforcement quickly become targets for reprisals.

Drug legalization would free up police resources to fight non-drug related crimes against people and property:

The considerable police efforts now expended against drug activity and drug-related crime (1/3 to 1/2 of resources) could be redirected toward protecting innocent people from those who would still commit crime in the absence of drug laws. The police could protect us more effectively, since police could focus resources on catching rapists, murderers and the remaining perpetrators of crimes against people and property

Unclog the court system:

If you are accused of a crime today, your Constitutional Right to an expeditious, fair trial is impeded by our clogged court system. Guilty or innocent, you must live with the anxiety of impending trial for a much longer period of time. The process is even more sluggish for civil proceedings.

Reduce corruption of officials:

Drug-related police corruption manifests itself in two major forms. Police offer drug dealers protection in the police’s precinct for a share of the profits (or demand a share under threat of exposure), and police seize a dealer’s merchandise to sell themselves. Seven current or former Philadelphia police officers were indicted May 31 on charges of falsifying records of money and drugs confiscated from dealers. During a house search, one suspect turned over $20,000 he had made from marijuana sales, but the officers gave him a receipt for $1870. Another dealer, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer, “told the grand jury he was charged with possession of five pounds of marijuana, although 11 pounds were found in his house.”

Evaluating drug legalization:

Is legalization a gamble worth taking? Arguments on both sides are persuasive. What should we do if we can neither clearly accept nor reject drug legalization? One approach proposed as being sensible is to suspend judgment, to recognize that proponents of legalization are partly right (that the drug war has proven ineffective in reducing drug abuse and crime associated with drugs), and to realize that it is time to explore new approaches.


The best way to prevent an addiction to an illegal drug is not to take the drug at all. Use care when taking an addictive prescription drug. Your doctor may prescribe narcotics to relieve pain, benzodiazepines to relieve anxiety or insomnia, or barbiturates to relieve nervousness or irritation. Doctors prescribe these medications at safe doses and monitor their use so that you’re not given too great a dose or for too long a time. If you feel you need to take more than the prescribed dose of a medication, talk to your doctor.

 Preventing drug abuse in children:

Take the following steps to help prevent drug abuse in your children:

  • Communicate. Talk to your children about the risks of drug use and abuse.
  • Listen. Be a good listener when your children talk about peer pressure, and be supportive of their efforts to resist it.
  • Set a good example. Don’t abuse alcohol or addictive drugs. Children of parents who abuse drugs are at greater risk of drug addiction.
  • Strengthen the bond. Work on your relationship with your children. A strong, stable bond between you and your child will reduce your child’s risk of using or abusing drugs.

Preventing a relapse:

Once you’ve been addicted to a drug, you’re at high risk of falling back into a pattern of addiction. If you do start using the drug, it’s likely you’ll lose control over its use again even if you’ve had treatment and you haven’t used the drug for some time.

  • Avoid high-risk situations. Don’t go back to the neighborhood where you used to get your drugs. And stay away from your old drug crowd.
  • Get help immediately if you use the drug again. If you start using the drug again, talk to your doctor, your mental health provider or someone else who can help you right away.


Drug addiction treatments include organized inpatient or outpatient treatment programs, counseling, and self-help groups to help you resist using the addictive drug again. Depending on your level of addiction, you may need steps to help you withdraw from using the drug (detoxification).

Therapies such as counseling, addiction treatment programs and self-help group meetings can help you overcome an addiction and stay sober.

  • Treatment programs: Treatment programs generally include educational and therapy sessions focused on getting sober and preventing relapse. This may be accomplished in individual, group or family sessions. These programs are available in various settings from outpatient to residential and inpatient programs.
  • Counseling: Individual or family counseling with a psychologist, psychiatrist or addiction counselor may help you resist the temptation to resume using addicting drugs. Behavior therapies can help you develop ways to cope with your drug cravings, suggest strategies to avoid drugs and prevent relapse, and offer suggestions on how to deal with a relapse if it occurs.
  • Counseling can also involve talking about your job, legal problems, and relationships with family and friends. Counseling with family members can help them develop better communication skills and be more supportive.
  • Self-help groups:  Many, though not all, of these groups tend to use the 12-step model first developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. Self-help groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous, exist for people addicted to drugs, such as cocaine, sedatives and narcotics. The message is that addiction is a chronic disorder with a danger of relapse and that ongoing maintenance treatment which may include medications, counseling and self-help group meetings is necessary to prevent a relapse. Your doctor or counselor can help you locate a self-help group. You also can find listings for self-help groups in the phone book, at the library and on the Internet.

Withdrawal therapy:

The goal of withdrawal therapy (detoxification) is for you to stop taking the addicting drug as quickly and safely as possible. Detoxification may involve gradually reducing the dose of the drug or temporarily substituting other substances, such as methadone, that have less severe side effects. For some people, it may be safe to undergo withdrawal therapy on an outpatient basis; others may require admission to a hospital or a residential treatment center.

Withdrawal from different categories of drugs produces different side effects and requires different approaches.

  • Depressants (includes barbiturates, benzodiazepines and others). Minor side effects of withdrawal may include restlessness, anxiety, sleep problems and sweating. More-serious signs and symptoms also could include hallucinations, whole-body tremors, seizures, and increased blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature. Withdrawal therapy may involve gradually scaling back the amount of the drug, adding another medication to help stabilize the nerve cells during detoxification or both.
  • Stimulants (includes amphetamines, methamphetamine, cocaine, Ritalin and others). Side effects of withdrawal typically include depression, fatigue, anxiety and intense cravings. In some cases, signs and symptoms may include suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts, paranoia, and decreased contact with reality (acute psychosis).
  • Treatment during withdrawal is usually limited to emotional support from your family, friends and doctor. Your doctor may recommend medications to treat paranoid psychosis or depression.


Bangladesh became independent in 1971. After independence the laws, enacted during British and Pakistan period, remain in force in Bangladesh. So naturally Opium Act, 1857, Excise Act, 1909, Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930 and Opium Smoking Act, 1932 are enforced in Bangladesh. But these are not sufficient to make the country free from addiction. That is why “Intoxicant Control

Ordinance, 1989” a more effective law, was declared. Subsequently it was passed in the parliament as “The Intoxicant Control Act, 1990.”Xvii This Act came into force on 2 January, 1990. The earlier laws were suspended. The main provisions of this Act are as follows.

Establishment of Intoxicant Control Board:

To meet up the objectives of this Act, there shall be ‘National Intoxicant Control Board’ which will make necessary rules and regulations to control possible bad effect created by intoxicant and will take proper steps to implement those.

 National Intoxicant Control Board Fund:

To make the people aware of bad effect of intoxicant use and to facilitate the treatment and rehabilitations of the addicts, the Board can make fund to collect excess money in addition to general budget allocation.

 Intoxicant Control Directorate:

To meet up the objectives of this Act, the Government shall establish “Intoxicant Control Bureau” which will assist the Board to discharge its all functions.

 Production etc of intoxicants except Alcohol are prohibited:

Irrigation, production, processing, carriage, transport, import, export, supply, sale, buy, containing, reserve, storing in warehouse, exhibition of all kinds of intoxicants except alcohol are prohibited. The goods or such things, which are used to produce intoxicant, are also prohibited in the same manner as above. Provided that, by dint of license or permission or pass that can be done only to make medicine approved under this Act or for the use of scientific laboratory.

There are also some restrictions over alcohol. It needs license and without the prescription of competent doctor, one Muslim will not be permitted to drink alcohol.

 Rules of prohibition regarding prescription of intoxicant:

Without written permission of Director General, Doctor cannot prescribe any of the intoxicants mentioned in classes A & B as medicine. Anyone other than the Doctor cannot prescribe any of the intoxicants mentioned in class C as medicine.

Punishment under this Act:

If anyone violates any provision of section 9, he will be punished amounting to minimum two years to maximum life imprisonment for committing crime for A class intoxicants, minimum 6 months to 15 years imprisonment for B class intoxicants and not more than one year imprisonment or fine of TK 10,000/= or both for C class intoxicants.xxv If any one keeps any instrument, which is used to produce intoxicants, he will be punished for 2 to 15 years imprisonment with fine as additional. Punishment for letting houses or vehicles to use in commission of crime is imprisonment of not more than five years or fine or both. If any one does anything mentioned in Section 9 or 10 without license, he will be punished for minimum two years to maximum 10 years imprisonment. For violation of any condition of license, not more than 5 years imprisonment or fine-TK 10,000/= or both will be imposed upon the violator. Besides,, the abetment to commit such crime is also included as crime under this Act.

 Other provisions:

Rickshaw pullers, for example, demands more calories and nutrition due to their hard labor. Many of them are chain smokers and buy more cigarettes and less food. They deprive themselves of nutrition and calorie and inhale poison instead and also deprive the members of their families of economic support. Thus they are doubly affected and fall easy prey to various diseases. Besides, non-smokers are affected when they come in contact with them. Like the drugs addicted, smokers also become smoking addicted. Tobacco smoke contains more than 4000 chemicals, many of which are known to be cancer-causing agents. Smoking cigarettes increases the risk of lung cancer. It may cause other types of cancer like leukemia, cancer of the kidneys, pancreas, stomach and cervix. Lung damage from smoking increases the risk of pneumonia, bronchitis and emphysema. Smoking substantially increases the risk of cardiovascular disease including stomach, heart attack, aortic aneurysms and poor blood circulation, hardening of the arteries and lowers the level of high density lipoprotein (HDL), stomach ulcers; sudden death etc. Thus smoking affects almost every organ of the body. The medical specialists opine that if smoking is taken from the age of 15, it will decrease 20 years from the life of smokers Under the Smoking and Tobacco Usage (Control) Act, 2005 smoking in public places and transports is prohibited and it prescribes penalty of taka 50 for the smokers. Public places include educational institutions, government, semi-government and autonomous offices, libraries, lifts, hospitals, clinics, court buildings, airports, sea and river Port buildings, railway stations, bus terminals, ferries, cinema halls, covered exhibition centers, theaters, children’s parks and other places designated by gazette notification. Thus smoking in public places in Bangladesh is a criminal offence. One may hurt oneself intentionally but one has no right to hurt others. According to the opinion of physicians indirect smoking or passive smoking poses a threat to the health of the non– smokers. It is often found hat insensible people puff smoke in a crowded bus or the like. They do not even have an iota of consideration for women or children around them. Smokers don’t pay any heed to those who even politely request them not to smoke in that environment. Besides, frequently loud voice of defiance of the smokers is heard.

This newly introduced law will enhance the moral courage of the sufferers to oppose such offenders. This law also provides banning of putting up billboards and printing leaflets and handbills or any other documents, including films and videotapes containing advertisement of tobacco. At the same time, this Act also provides ‘three months’ imprisonment or a fine not more than taka one thousand or both for advertising tobacco in the national dailies or in any other media. This law, therefore, will definitely help to curb smoking in Bangladesh. Actually the purpose of an advertisement is to promote a product, allure people to buy it and boost the sale. The flashy billboards, colorful advertisements for cigarettes in the dailies and on the television with stationary warning: “Smoking is bad for health” is a mockery and hypocrisy. It entices smokers to buy more cigarettes; it allures young non –smokers to fall in the trap of smoking. Arranging competition and making any offer of scholarship or donation to publicize tobacco products offend a sensible mind. The net result of all these is constant rise of number of smokers and increase of consumption of cigarettes in the society. The law prohibiting smoking in public places has come into force but.

The scene is otherwise in tobacco fields. Smoking is punishable but not tobacco cultivation. Despite the anti-smoking campaign by the Government, NGOs and Civil Society, tobacco cultivation has been increased substantially in seven southwestern districts including Rangpur and Nilphamari in last two years (2003-2004) in place of other crops like wheat, mustard seeds and vegetables, mainly due to assistance to farmers by Cigarette and Bidi companies which provide interest-free loans, seed, fertilizer, technical support and by back facilities to farmers.xli According to one report Cultivation of tobacco has increased in the districts of Kushtia, Rangpur, and Nilphamari rapidly. Tobacco cultivation in one bigha of land costs up to Tk 1500 but the product can be sold at taka 6000 to taka 10,000.

Notwithstanding it is a matter of hope that several thousand farmers of Sundarganj of Gaibandha District said goodbye to tobacco. They vowed to replace tobacco with vegetables and wheat in their fields in a “field day program”. It was arranged by government’s Agricultural Extension Department and some NGOs. There the farmers declared voluntarily that cultivation of wheat and vegetable is easier and more profitable than tobacco. The contributions of District Agriculture Department, Donor Agency Oxfam, and Dhaka based NGO Panache (step) and Local NGO Ekota is praiseworthy in this regard. Although “The Smoking and Tobacco Control Act, 2005” passed and came into force on March 26, 2005, but cigarettes are still sold in the open place. Youths continue to buy and smoke in public heedless of the law enforced and billboards advertising tobacco products can be found. One can conceive this reality from a view snapped from a public place published in the Daily Star.xlv Smoking in public place is punishable Offence as stated above but what about in other places? Why is  it not prohibited everywhere? Our suggestion to the Government is that smoking and all kinds of addiction should be banned and stopped irrespective of place and persons. Since the majority of the people of Bangladesh are Muslims and religious minded, the Islamite view towards addiction should be upheld and motivated .Now we turn to

Highlight on Islamic Penal laws about addiction.

 Islamic Penal Law about addiction:

Islam has finally stood against any sort of addiction. It prohibited addiction through different phases:

1st phase: “They ask you concerning wine and gambling. Say- in them there is great sin and some profit for men but the sin is greater than the profit”. Here wine literally is understood to mean the fermented intoxicating juice of grape and dates. Analogically, it includes all fermented liquor and any intoxicating liquor or drug. IIUC Studies, Vol. 4

2nd Phase: “O, you, who believe don’t approach to the prayer in a state of intoxicating until you can understand all that you say”.

3rd Phase: “O, you who believe, intoxicants and gambling and sacrificing to stones and divination by arrows are acts of Satan. So abstain from such that you may prosper”. The prophet (Sm) also gave a strict ruling prohibiting wine supportingthe last Phase. Abdullah Ibn Omar   narrated that the Prophet (Sm) said –Allah’s curse will be on:

(I) wine (alcohol), (ii) Producers of wine, (iii) the persons who order for wine,    (iv) seller, (v) buyer, (vi) carriers, (vii) to whom it is carried, (viii) the person who enjoys its price, (ix) drunkard, (x) the persons who administer wine. From the above discussion it is clear that in first phase addiction was discouraged and in 2nd phase the Muslims were ordered not to approach to prayer (Salat) in a state of intoxication and finally it has been prohibited. Here wine (Khamar) includes all sorts of addiction. This is the provision of Islam, violation of which is a punishable

Offence. According Shari a law addict shall be scourged eighty strips on the back’s Even if the addict takes wine for the 4th time, he will be sentenced to death.


The main elements in combating Drug addiction include measures to control availability and use of drugs, treatment of withdrawal symptoms, and restoration of social moral and religious values. To prevent re-addiction in patients, innovative treatment containing medical, social and religious aspects have to be put in place. Easy availability of treatment will ensure the elimination of this socially and physically dreaded disease.

Treatment of addiction in our country is still not in a hopeful stage. Some unqualified and unscrupulous people are engaged in making money out of this affliction with mushrooming organizations and signboards, which confuse the patients. Such institutions do not have doctors. Others falsely advertise the availability of services and doctors from abroad. Such doctors even if available cannot be very effective, unless they are truly knowledgeable about our social, cultural and economic environment. It is time that experienced and qualified doctors and health professionals come to the aid of the addict in our society, and give genuine and prolonged treatment and care.


01. Brickey, Kathleen F. 1995. “Criminal Mischief:

02. The Federalization of American Criminal Law.”

03. Hastings Law Journal (April).Contreras, Joseph G. 1995.

04. “The Food and Drug Administration and the International Conference on Harmonization.”

05. Administrative Law Journal of the American University 8 (winter).Duke, Steven B. 1995.

06. “Drug Prohibition: An Unnatural Disaster.” Connecticut Law Review (winter).

07. “Executive Summary: Mandatory Sentencing.” 1995. CQ Researcher (May 26).

08. Inciardi, James A. 1986. The War on Drugs. Palo Alto, Calif.

09.  Mayfield. Justice Department. Bureau of Justice Statistics. 1993.

10. The Transition to Sentencing Guidelines, 1986–1990.

Illegal Drug

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