Punjab’s new addicts: on the rise of female drug addicts

It is very saddening every time we hear news about drug addiction because more often than not, it’s always negative. In most cases, it’s about the increasing number of drug users. It’s either younger individuals are using it or even females are becoming courageous enough to take the risk and let drugs take over their life.

In Punjab, they are now facing the rise in the number of female drug addicts. More and more women are becoming victims of substance abuse. The sad thing is, this has taken on the lives and families of women. This is for sure another serious problem that they have to face. The availability of rehab services can greatly help in these situations.

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The State’s drug crisis has acquired another dimension following a steady increase in the number of female addicts. Vikas Vasudeva reports on the toll substance abuse has taken on the lives and families of these women and the infrastructural support needed to help them.

She got hooked on drugs seven years ago. Her school-going, teenage daughter had introduced her to a drug. “Within three days,” says Jasmeet, 42, “I had become an addict.”

Jasmeet works as a domestic help in Jalandhar. She has been a regular visitor at a drug de-addiction centre in Kapurthala since 2014. Along with her, her husband and their only daughter are also undergoing treatment for heroin addiction. Cases of whole families being compulsive consumers of drugs are not uncommon in today’s Punjab.

Describing her descent into drug addiction, Jasmeet says, “After working all day, I would feel anxious and exhausted. One day my daughter came to me and said she had a medicine that would make me relax. I agreed to try it. She then injected the medicine, which turned out to be heroin. Initially I felt a heaviness in my head. But in a few hours I felt quite relaxed. I took the drug for two days. On the fourth day, when I skipped a dose, it felt as if my body was crumbling.”

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