Psychotropic drugs: Using or Abusing

15/12/2009 21:01


Psychotropic drugs: Using or Abusing

MD.MEHEDI HASAN (Bachelor of Pharmacy)

A drug can save one’s life when it is administered in proper dose and for the particular diseases. But any can destroy one’s life if it is applied in unusual dose and wrong identification of disease. The psychotropic substances and the narcotic drugs are the habit forming agents. They can produce dependency when used in regular basis. A psychoactive drug or psychotropic substance is a chemical substance that acts primarily upon the central nervous system where it alters brain function, resulting in temporary changes in perception, mood, consciousness and behavior. These drugs may be used recreationally to purposefully alter one's consciousness, as entheogens for ritual or spiritual purposes, as a tool for studying or augmenting the mind, or therapeutically as medication.The common classes of psychotropic drugs are Benzodiazepines (Diazepam, Bromazepam, Clobazam, Clonazepam, Lorazepam, Nitrazepam), Barbeturates, Miscellaneous (Paraldehyde, Chloraldehyde, Meprobamate) etc. These drugs are useful to treat various complex disorders like insomnia, anxiety, mental imbalance, schizophrenia etc. According to National Mental Health Survey in 2003-2005 about 16.05% of the adult population in the country is suffering from mental disorders. According to the WHO-AIMS report, 16% of the psychotropic substances are abused for the treatment of out-patient throughout the country whereas 7% psychotropic substances are abused for the in-patient in the mental-healthcare system.Causes responsible for maltreating the psychotropic drugs in Bangladesh:ü      Proper diagnosis is often done to prescribe a psychotropic drug.ü      Sometimes doctors prescribe anxiolytic drugs (agents that reduces anxiety) to satisfy the patient as they claim for insomnia.ü      Another thing is, privatization policy has a significant role in the increasing use of sedatives. Because the employees are hard working and the want a sound sleep at the end of the day. ü      In Bangladesh, prescription controls are not adequately enforced at the retail level. In addition, pharmaceutical preparations are stolen from hospitals and pharmacies. Moreover, retail sellers have not enough knowledge and consciousness.   ü      People take these drugs without knowing the habit forming properties of these drugs. ü      Wrong determination of dosage regimen (how long the drugs should be taken)However, we should find the right ways to ensure the rational use of psychotropic drugs. Pharmacists can play a vital role with their knowledge and skills who are working in community healthcare. But doctors should not prescribe these drugs without proper diagnosis. Mass people have to be conscious about what type of disorder he or she is suffering from. And self-medication should be avoided. The Government and NGOs should take proper action to conscious the people about harmful effect of the psychotropic and narcotic drugs. Government should be strict for giving license of the retail drug store where at least a diploma pharmacist is required for that shop. In addition, Government should ensure that the laws are applied and strictly followed by the retail sellers and health professionals.  

NB.: Recently I have done my project work on the topic of “Sale and distribution of Narcotics and Psychotropic substances in Bangladesh: A Market survey.” This article is the gist of the outcomes of my project work. Further information and data can be delivered upon request.