Posts Tagged ‘drugs’

Friends, seems like tomorrow (Sunday, October 7) would be world tourism day in Panjab. The Akalis have organised a rally in Capt Amarinder’s home turf Patiala. The Congress has organised a rally in Lambi, Badal’s village. One faction of AAP is marching from Kotkapura to Bargari over sacrileges. Everyone has forgotten major issues: agrarian crises, vanishing industry, unemployment, drugs and crimes.

Cut to circa 2016, the SAD-BJP was still in power in Punjab, Captain Amarinder had not made his promise at Damdama Sahib, the STF on Drugs was not formed, the Maro Jan Virodh Karo protest had not happened when Patiala MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi proposed an amendment to the NDPS Bill 1985.

The Parliament Committee approved the amendments to the Bill to be tabled. However, the Bill never came up for discussion. As the Parliament meets for its last winter session before 2019 elections, is it still not time to discuss the NDPS Act?

Thank you Punjab To for re-presenting the article. Please read here …

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Friends, I feel we don’t need to sensationalise drugs. Neither do we need quick fixes. Thanks to Indira Basu and others here I am looking at the protest, recent events and the sub-text of the war on drugs:

The political discourse in Panjab now eerily sounds ‘like the drug-addled talk of an addict: when sober, every abuser talks about quitting drugs, seeking help, not wanting access to drugs – and soon after, they fail.’

Please read …

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Friends, over the last decade Punjab has been much maligned over the drugs issue. The issue has become a huge plank for political campaigns, police bullying, addicts being marginalised, and the system collapsing.

Yet, it needed a good doctor to pin-point the issue and suggest a course of treatment which is stupendous in its simplicity. That is exactly what Dr Dharamvira Dv Gandhi is suggesting: change the way we look at drugs, amend the draconian NDPS Act, 1985, to lay out which are ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ drugs, decriminalise the addict.

He is proposing the amendment in the Winter Session of the Parliament, starting November 17. I really hope the Bill goes through. This is a much needed change on our own ‘war of drugs’ and stands to make political parties accountable for their rhetoric.
I understand, given our mindsets, this could cause a furore but let us discuss, debate, make informed choices, instead of staying apathetic and suddenly turning around and blaming the system. The incidence of drugs is a symptom of systemic collapse. We are the system.

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Daljit Ami: The scatter of ‘Udta Punjab’

   Posted by: aman    in Punjab

Friends, here is my translation of Daljit Ami’s much appreciated review of Udta Punjab. A lot of friends had asked for a translation. All errors in the copy are mine. Please comment on the note itself. Helps us understand your views in context.

Please read …

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Like a Diamond in the Sky

   Posted by: aman    in Other

Okay, okay, been long. Sorry! I have been writing but I know I did not update these pages soon enough. I will try to be more regular … Here is a review of mine on a book from Bangladesh that appeared recently in Businessworld. Click here for story.

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A locked iron door

   Posted by: aman    in Sepia Leaves

This Saturday I went to meet members of Roshni, the ACMI initiative. It was a mixed group of victims and care givers. As we started the session I realized that the notes I had made were not going to be very helpful.

These were real people and there was nothing new that I could have told them. A tragedy has befallen their lives and they come here to share their experiences. We must draw on those experiences, process them, strip them of presumptions, and make nuggets of knowledge that maybe other care givers can use. We did that by starting a conversation. For example,

1. When users feel the medication is not working we have to take into account that the pharmaceutical psychiatry industry is growing the fastest in the world today but they still do not have effective ways to find new drugs. There is no easy co-relation between chemicals and effectiveness because the results are not tied to figures. All they have are some subjective type tests and the users’ word, which also depends upon the mood of those who are trying the trial drugs.
2. Regular medication also has very hard side-effects. Most often we get angry with a victim for being lazy, but it might be that the medication that he or she is consuming is causing the blood sugar to rise and it is not as someone was saying ‘opium is mixed in drugs’.
3. The discipline of psychiatry has still not evolved enough for the practitioners to be able to make effective and absolute diagnoses. To reach a consensus that the same condition is called the same name by different people in different contexts. That is why it is important that the care givers make the effort to participate in the process of diagnoses and care.
4. Genetics plays an important role in transmitting the illnesses between generations in a family but it can again not be tied to exact percentages. Neither can we rule out the environment or individual behaviour patterns. Genes also work on the basis of whether they are active or dormant or repressive and so on.

We ended up with the question what is it that exactly happens in the mind of a victim. We had with us a lady who has successfully combated her schizophrenia. She said, ‘A strong iron door is locked on the mind. Whatever happens, washes over the person whose mind is locked. We do not have the right keys to open the locks. While the world grows around us, we live in the closed room.’

A very important point to consider, and this was the first time I heard it from a user. Thank you lady.

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