The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines drug addiction as a mental disorder. Causes Drugs known to cause addiction include both legal and illegal drugs as well as prescription or over-the-counter drugs, according to the definition of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.  Stimulants (psychological addiction, moderate to severe): Substituted amphetamines Cocaine Caffeine Nicotine Sedatives and hypnotics (physical addiction, mild to severe, and physiological addiction, severe; abrupt withdrawal may be fatal): Alcohol Barbiturates and glutethimide
Benzodiazepines,particularly alprazolam, flunitrazepam, triazolam, temazepam, and nimetazepam Z-drugs like zopiclone have a similar effect in the body to benzodiazepines Methaqualone and the related quinazolinone sedative-hypnotics Opiate and opioid analgesics (physical addiction, mild to severe, physiological addiction, mild to severe; abrupt withdrawal is unlikely to be fatal).
Morphine and codeine, the two naturally occurring opiate analgesics Semi-synthetic opiates, such as heroin (diacetylmorphine; morphine diacetate), oxycodone, buprenorphine, and hydromorphone Fully synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, meperidine/pethidine, and methadone Addictive drugs also include a large number of substrates that are currently considered to have no medical value and are not available over the counter or by prescription. Several theories of drug addiction exist, some of the main ones being genetic predisposition, the self-medication theory, and factors involved with social/economic development. There are strong associations between poverty and addiction.  It is important to remember that people abuse substances for hundreds of different, individual, almost idiosyncratic reasons.  Drug addiction in Punjab I think most of you have heard at least something about the major problems of drug addiction in Punjab.
This problem is growing from bad to worse with little remedy in sight. One might wonder why the Punjab government doesn’t get involved and help setup programs to deal with the problems. From what little I do know about the situation I think it is possible that people involved in the government either don’t care, are not seeing the urgency of the problem, or benefit in some way by all the drugs/alcohol, etc. Just in the area of alcohol I heard thatAmritsar city consumes more than Rs 1 crore (approx. US $225,000) worth of liquor EVERY DAY! So you can imagine how the money revolving around alcohol and other drugs might control people in government.
There is too much money going around to write off the possibility of corruption and politics influencing these things. It’s no wonder there are very few if any programs organized and funded by the government to deal with the issues of de-addiction. So the question comes, how do we help the thousands people who are already addicted to drugs, and prevent the many youth who might soon get into drugs? There is no easy answer, that is for sure! My community is no stranger to drugs and de-addiction. Many of my parents generation were teenagers/”hippies”/spiritual seekers of that era (1960? s/70? s). This was a time when people were seeking an experience of higher consciousness; many of whom used drugs as a way to try to find that.
At this same time Siri Singh Sahib ji (Yogi Bhajan) came to the USA and immediately saw this drug culture and how it effected the lives of millions. He began teaching Kundalini Yoga, meditation, spiritual philosophy, and loving acceptance. He gave the soon to be called “Baby Boomers” an effective alternative to the prevalent drug culture. He called it the “3HO” (healthy, happy, holy) way of life. [photopress:YB_September_1970. jpg,full,centered]In 1973, Yogi Bhajan founded 3HO SuperHealth, a remarkably successful drugless, drug rehabilitation program, blending the proven ancient yogic wisdom of the East with the modern technology of the west.
The philosophy of 3HO SuperHealth was based upon the belief that natural healing techniques such as Kundalini Yoga, meditation, special diets, hydrotherapy, and massage utilized in a structured environment such as a holistic therapeutic community, are the most effective way of treating people who have problems with addictions. 3HO’s SuperHealth Program had excellent results helping thousands of individuals to not only free themselves from alcohol or drugs but to begin to lead a life without negative addictions. SuperHealth was accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization and received its highest commendation. In 1973 it distinguished itself as being in the top 10% of all treatment programs throughout the U.S, with a recovery rate of 91%.
Then in 1989 Yogi Bhajan met with then President Mikhail Gorbachev and established addiction treatment programs in Russia based on the 3HO SuperHealth model. Since 1993 Yogi Bhajan had also been persistently contacting the Punjab Government offering assistance with the drug problem in Punjab. Year after year would go by with little or no response. Yogi Bhajan was a very forward thinking person and after going through the issues of youth and drugs in America he knew that this would become an issue in Punjab as well. He had all the details worked out and had a whole plan on how to tackle the drug issue in Punjab.
Reading the details one can understand that he had put a lot of thought into the issue. In talks with other staff at 3HO, they would ask him “Why are we still writing letters and proposing different drug re-hab programs? No one seems to care or respond to us? “. That of course didn’t matter to him and he knew it was something that we had to keep working on and hopefully someone would eventually respond. It wasn’t till after 12 YEARS of letters, phone calls, emails, meetings etc. , did any progress even come about. Finally (in 2004), the Punjab government entered into a “collaborative” effort with 3HO SuperHealth to provide a 90 day pilot program for de-addiction.
They basically gave some space (rooms) in a wing of a hospital in Amritsar and placed an advertisement in the newspaper (that’s pretty much it). The rest was done as seva by dedicated professional individuals who volenteered their own money and months of time. You can ready one of the news stories about the 3HO SuperHealth pilot program in Punjab. This was a hugely successful test program, however the Punjab government hasn’t done anything to continue or implement the program now that it is complete, which is unfortunate. It’s as if it was just for pubilicity. It is so amazing to hear the transforming experiences and stories of the 10 people who participated in the program.
When the test program was first announced there were long lines of hundreds of families stretching down the hospital hallway of people who wanted to be a part of the test pilot program. Every single person in that line had to be interviewed (with a translator), since only 10 people could participate in this initial program. The other day I was reading information and a report gathered by some Sikh Youth volunteers relating to drug addiction in Punjab and this article really hit me. We all hear about the drug problem, but I never really understood how deep the issue was. I remember being in boarding school in Dehradun, India and seeing first hand how drugs took their hold on friends/classmates.
Things went from smoking and alcohol to pharmaceuticals and hard drugs. People would try to get high in any way they could; glue fumes, cough syrup, uppers, downers, bung/hash, on and on. There are too many drugs to even name! Much of it started with a simple curiosity and peer pressure as it spread around. Luckily many of these people saw how destructive these things were to themselves and stopped eventually, but many of the people I know had serious permanent damage to themselves (mind/body) and will never be the same. This is one of those difficult topics that I can’t even write about in a clear way. It is so big and so many different thoughts come to my mind.
People get into drugs for so many reasons and there is no simple solution. It will take the weight of the whole community to overcome these problems together. To start addressing this issue I am planning to talk with other youth that are working on related projects such as this, and figure out more ideas and solutions that we can do together. We can’t wait for some organization or government to do something, otherwise things could continue to worsen in that time. The city just outside Espanola (Chimayo, New Mexico) I have heard has some of the highest drug addiction in America. This is right in my “back yard”, so there is this same type of problem locally here too!
Our local S. E. V. A. group is starting to get involved in the local problem. Just down the hall from me in our SikhNet Gurdwara offices is Mukta Kaur who has been involved with the 3HO SuperHealth program for a long time (since 1973! ). I was discussing with her the Punjab drug issue and we were trying to come up with different ideas on how to use the 3HO SuperHealth program in a way without having an actual residential program (because there is not currently any funding/support for such a program). We were thinking that a simple training manual could be developed for volunteers who could use the 3HO Superhealth techniques and get involved locally in different ways.
Other types of “Manuals/Guides” could be developed to for a variety of purposes (Addiction can be to anything not just drugs). We are still trying to work out the ideas though and figure out how to make it happen. It always comes down to who is going to do it and how. At this point it is a matter of how to pull all the information together in an organized manner for these purposes. We’ll probably have to find committed volenteers and a bit of funding to get this going. So, I hope you all take some time to think about all this and get involved in some way. I highly recommend that you read the below two articles which will give you a clearer picture of the issues.