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Drug & Alcohol Abuse - Information and Advices


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Addictions come in many forms. Some of the most common addictions involve smoking, drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling, video gaming, food, shopping, and even work. Some say addictions are a choice, others say they are a disease, others highlight how addictions are created by various industries, yet others look for correlations between various addictions and pre-existing psychological conditions, family structures, and/or the socio-economic position of addicts. Regardless of cause, addictions certainly have a major effect on people, families, communities and nations - they are very difficult to deal with.


Insha'Allah, in this thread we explore drug and alcohol addictions, provide some insight into the problem, offer some hope to those most affected by it and most importantly, show the Islamic perspective on the issue.


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What Is Addiction?


Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (e.g., alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (e.g., gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work, relationships, or health. Users may not be aware that their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others.


The word addiction is used in several different ways. One definition describes physical addiction. This is a biological state in which the body adapts to the presence of a drug so that drug no longer has the same effect, otherwise known as a tolerance. Because of tolerance, the biological reaction of withdrawal occurs [when] the drug is discontinued. Another form of physical addiction is the phenomenon of overreaction by the brain to drugs (or to cues associated with the drugs). An alcoholic walking into a bar, for instance, will feel an extra pull to have a drink because of these cues.


However, most addictive behavior is not related to either physical tolerance or exposure to cues. People compulsively use drugs, gamble, or shop nearly always in reaction to being emotionally stressed, whether or not they have a physical addiction. Since these psychologically based addictions are not based on drug or brain effects, they can account for why people frequently switch addictive actions from one drug to a completely different kind of drug, or even to a non-drug behavior. The focus of the addiction isn't what matters; it's the need to take action under certain kinds of stress. Treating this kind of addiction requires an understanding of how it works psychologically.


When referring to any kind of addiction, it is important to recognize that its cause is not simply a search for pleasure and that addiction has nothing to do with one's morality or strength of character. Experts debate whether addiction is a "disease" or a true mental illness, whether drug dependence and addiction mean the same thing, and many other aspects of addiction. Such debates are not likely to be resolved soon. But the lack of resolution does not preclude effective treatment.



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Islamic Stance on use of Alcohol and Drugs


Allah (SWT) says in Quran : O you who believe ! Intoxicants ( all kinds ofalcoholic drinks), and gambling, and Al Ansab, and Al Azlam ( arrows for seekingluck or decision) are an abomination of Shaitan’s handiwork. So avoid (strictlyall) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful. (Surah Al-Maidahv90.)


Admonition and warnings of consuming alcohol in Ahaadeeth


There are two ways to learn, the easy way and the hard way. The hard way ispersonal experience, after falling into the trap and after destroying one’slife, one realises what he has done was wrong, but in many cases it is verydifficult to resolve. The easiest way is the way of Islam, which we have beentaught by Rasulullah (SAW). Here are a few Ahadeeth in regards to the admonitionand warnings of alcohol:


Abdullah bin Umar (RA) narrates that Rasulullah (SAW) said, “Every intoxicantis ‘khamr’ and every intoxicant is Haraam (prohibited). Whosoever drinks ‘khamr’is this world and dies in the state that one was habituated to it and did notrepent from such a sin, this person will not drink it in the Hereafter.”(Muslim)


Jabir (RA) narrates that a man came from Yemen and asked Nabi (SAW) about adrink which they drank where they drank in Yemen, which was called ‘miraz’. Nabi(SAW) replied, “Does it intoxicate?” He replied, “Yes.” Rasulullah (SAW) thenreplied’ “Every intoxicant is Haraam (prohibited). Allah ta’aala has made apromise that whosoever drinks an intoxicant, Allah ta’aala will make him drinkfrom ’Teenatul-Khabaal’.” They (the Sahabah – RA) said, “Oh Rasulullah! What is‘Teenatul- Khabaal’?” He replied, “The sweat or pus of the people of Jahannan(Hell).” (Muslim)


We realise from these Ahadeeth that alcohol and drugs are a very serious issuefor the Islamic work. We as Muslims are very lucky that we have been warned ofits consequences. In another Hadeeth:


Abdullah Ibn Umar (RA) narrates that Rasulullah (SAW) said, “Whosoever drinksintoxicants, his salaah will not be accepted for forty days. If he repents,Allah ta’aala will accept his repentance. If he continues to do so, he is givenrespite until the fourth time, where he will not be forgiven, i.e. Allah ta’aalawill not give him the ability to repent, and he will be made to drink from ‘Nahrul-Khabaal’.


Abdullah Ibn Umar (RA) narrates that Rasulullah (SAW) said, “A disobedientperson, a gambler, a person who boasts of favours and a constantly intoxicatedperson will not enter Jannah (Paradise).”


Ibn Abbas (RA) narrates that Rasulullah (SAW) said, “If a person who ishabited to ‘Khamr” dies, this person will meet Allah ta’aala as a ‘Aabid-wathn’(idol-worshipper).


Reasons for adopting and consuming alcohol and drugs


People use drugs for enjoyment and fun- we are witnessing the ‘now.com’generation using ecstasy and speed in their pursuit for happiness, or to escapethe pain and suffering of their lives – a ‘time-out’ from the pressures theyendure to confirm and fit in.


One article in the Saudi Arabian papers stated that the prime reasons for thespreading of alcohol and drugs are:


1. Bad Company: We either do not know what bad company is, or we think we haveto hang around with them (people of bad influence). What is bad company? Suchcompany that increases even one sin in a person is considered as bad company.Staying with the drug addicts is bad company.


2. Affluence: The second reason for drug expansion is affluence, excessivespending of money. We do not budget, we have no sense of responsibility when itcomes to spending. If we were to budget, half of our problems would be solved,because a lot of haraam actions involves spending money on drugs, cigarettes,etc. so cut out all haraam and unwanted cost and we will be solving most of ourproblems.


3. Self ego: The attitude that I want to be champion and a leader amongst myfriends and peers.


4. Peer pressure: Surveys show that 60% have drugs due to peer pressure and solepleasure.


Remember the saying of Umar Farooq (RA), “Take account of yourselves beforeyou are accounted for.”


What are the effects of drugs?


They impair decision-making ability leading to irresponsible behaviour. UthmanIbn Affaan (RA) said, “Intoxicants are the key to all evils.” A man was onceasked either to tear up a copy of the Qur’an, kill a child, bow in worship to anidol, drink a cup of alcohol or sleep with a woman. He thought the lesser wrongwould be to drink the cup of alcohol, and he did. Hence this caused him to sleepwith a woman, kill a child, tear up a copy of the Qur’an and bow down in worshipto an idol.


Other effects of drugs are:


1. They cause harm to the body;


2. They cause moral insensitivity;


3. They weaken will power;


4. They cause the user to turn to crime to pay for drugs.


May Allah ta’aala safeguard us all, especially the youth against the evil ofthis fast-flowing disease that is polluting our environment and surroundings.Aameen.


Mufti Yusuf Danka Al-Kauthar



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The Alcohol & Drug Abuse: The American Scene And The Islamic Perspective 

Written by Dr. Shahid Athar   


In Pakistan the first known case of heroin addiction was recorded in 1980. In 1981, there were only 25 cases recorded. By 1986 there were half a million cases. Now it is estimated the Lhercarebetween 1-1.5 million cases in a population of 95 million. The rate of growth of narcotic addiction in Pakistan is higher than that of USA. In addition to heroin addicts, there are about 1 million opium and hashish users, and 300,000 tranquillizer abusers. The actual number of alcoholics is difficult to determine, since they usually don't seek treatment. There are only 26 rehabilitation centers and 10,000 trained social workers.

By comparison, in the USA with a population of 220 million, there are 15 milllion alcoholics, 2 million heroin addicts, 5.5 million cocaine users, 6 million tranquilizer abusers and 18 million regularly use marijuana. There are 700 treatment centers. There are 10,000 kids (children born to cocaine mothers).

The cost of drug treatment to the nation (USA) is $117 billion per year. In 1986 congress allotted only $2.5 billion to control drug traffic, a $110 billion industry. The value of cocaine seized at the borders in 1985 was $70 million (5 million in 1981) and marijuana $70 million (2 million in 1981). Next to Columbia, the USA is the second biggest producer of marijuana.

In addition to morbidity, the alcohol and drug scene is closely connected to the crime rate. In 1985 alone 800,000 arrests were made for drug violations (compared to 400,000 in 1973). Of the 523,000 inmates in the U.S. prisons, one-third admitted drinking alcohol before committing the felony. Of the 50,000 auto accidents deaths annually, 23,000 are related to acute alcoholism, 5,000 being teenagers. In addition about 1500,000 arrests occur annually in traffic violation due to alcoholism. In addition great man made disasters have taken place due to one man's alcohol indulgence i.e. the captain of the Exxon tanker in Alaska. No wonder, the ethics committee in US congress was so careful in choosing the Defence Secretary. One third of all 75,000 AIDS cases are occurring in IV drug abusers or their partners. 54%,of drug related AIDS are in heterosexual men, 16% in women, 20% in homosexual men, 8% in partners of drug users and 3% in children born to mothers with drug abuse or whose partner was drug abuser. The alcohol and drug abuse in children as young as 5 is increasing at an alarming rate.

In addition to alcohol, marijuana, heroin and cocaine, the other drugs abused are an angel dust (PCP), speed, MDMA (estacy), china white, MPTP, tranquilizers and anabolic steroids. Let us discuss some of the medical aspects of these drugs in brief.

Marijuana: Has 400 known chemicals, 61 of them affect the brain, the THC or delta 9 Tetrahydro Cannabinol is the most active ingredient. Marijuana impairs memory, concentration and reading capacity. Increases anxiety, apprehension and fear. It damages heart and lung. It lowers testosterone (male hormone) and sperm count and affects the outcome of pregnancy. It is more carcinogenic than cigarettes.

Cocaine: A potent brain stimulant, was initially thought to be harmless, thus added to the soft drink (coke) in 1900. When given intravenously, it produces intense high and intense low (depression), hallucination, convulsion, cardiac arrest and death.

Heroin: (Opium) morphine derivative. Usually injected by needle, but can be snorted or smoked. It is highly addictive with intensely withdrawal. Overdose results in death.

Amphetamines: Are "pep pills" to fight fatigue and stay awake, suppress appetite, and stimulates heart and central nervous system. Dangerous in large doses and can cause psychological addiction.

Barbiturates: Are used to overcome intense high and produce sleep. It can be fatal when used with alcohol.

LSD (Acid): It is a powerful hallucinogen, can cause psychotic reaction and mental breakdown.

New Drugs: MDMA (estacy) is LSD + Cocaine, causes disorientation initially but leads to permanent brain damage. China White is 1,000 times more potent than heroin. MPTP causes Parkinsonism (brain damage).

Alcohol: Alcohol damages all organs of the body in due course. It damages liver (cirrhosis), causes stomach bleeding (ulcer), heart (cardiomyopathy), sex hormones and the immune system. Its effect on the brain can be acute (intoxication, delirium) or chronic (ataxia, memory loss, coordination). It is linked to breast cancer and fetal damage in women. But it is violence, homicide, suicide and drunk driving which takes most lives.

Prorile of An Alcoholic And Drug Abuser:
Instead of writing at length the problems of drugs and alcohol in youths of America, which cost the nation billions of dollars, and cost mothers their sons and dauqhters (MADD), I think it will be bette if I print an autobiography of one of my patients (19 years old, white female, upper class, name withheld). She writes ...

"When I was in high school, my friends and I began to experiment with marijuana. After the excitement of smoking pot became "old hat", we began to try different drugs - such as hash and THC. Pretty soon cocaine and LSD were introduced to us and it was common place to go to any party "high" on one or more of these drugs. Several times, I had very frightening experiences. Specifically one night, after taking LSD I went home (to my parent's home) before my"high" was over. Usually, I stayed overnight with a friend who "tripped" with me. On this night, my boyfriend and I broke up right after I took the LSD, so I went home alone. Mv parents were asleep in the next room and I felt that I had to be very quiet, so as not to wake them. I was afraid to make any noise , plus I was upset over the breakup of my relationship with my boyfriend. When the LSD took effect, I was very frightened. The walls looked as though they were melting: I heard strange noises; I hallucinated, even after closing my eyes. The sights were very unpleasant and frightening images. But l couldn't do anything but lie in bed, waiting for the drug to wear off. I didn't think I could tell my parents, since I knew I had taken an illegal and dangerous drug- I was awake nearly all night, scared to death with no one to talk to. For days after this incident, I was nervous and jumpy and depressed. The incident was a major shock to my system and one that I would never want to repeat.

I stopped taking "drugs" immediately after my senior year in high school- (I had only discovered drugs at the beginning of the school year). But, I guess the stage was set off for my future reactions. Drugs did not help- they were just for fun at first - but then once the "high" was gone, there was a real "let down" feeling that followed. So we'd either do more drugs or drink a few beers to make that feeling go away. Even now, whenever I get down or "stressed out"- the first thing I do is have a few drinks. The day after is always unpleasant if I have had too many drinks - so the opportunity for a vicious cycle is there. I honestly believe that the "harmless" experiments with marijuana, several years ago, may have been the start of this tendency to turn to alcohol today. The bottom line is, I'd be a hundred times better off today - happier and wealthier if drugs had never entered my life years ago.

The Islamic Perspective:

The objectives of Islamic divine laws are the protection of faith (belief in one God), life ( abortion. suicide, homicide), property (ownership) and the mind (intoxicants). Normally in the brain there is an inhibitory control which tells us not to engage in shameful or wrongful acts. Any suppressant drug including alcohol will suppress this nerve pathways and take away such restraint. Ability to make a judgement, to protect the body or honor, a quality for humans is taken away under the influence of drugs.

There are two main features of Islamic prohibitions:

a) lslam stops the wrong at the inception and not at the end. There is nothing like safe drinking age, or safe drugs to get high. Most of the teenage alcoholics don't buy the alcohol from the store but get it at home. Islam makes equal laws for both children and parents by prohibiting completely (total abstinence), but the West does not. It is for this reason, the West has been crippled to handle the problem of drugs and alcohol, because it has made duel standards.

b) Islam blocks all the avenues to the wrong. Therefore not only illicit sex is prohibited, but casual mixing of sexes freely is prohibited, but obscenity and pornography is prohibited, and in the same context, not only drinking wine is prohibited, but making it , selling it, keeping it, or even growing grapes for the sole purpose of selling it to winery for making wine is prohibited by the Prophet (PBUH). Some 1400 years ago, Allah(swt), our creator and sustainer, who cares for us, sent down following revelation in the following order, mentioned in Quran.

Al Baqarah 2:219: "They ask you concerning wine and gambling." Say: "In them there is great sin, and some profit, for men, but sin is greater than the profit."

Al-Nisa 4:43: "O you who believe! Approach not prayers, with a mind befogged, until you can understand all that you say."

Al-Ma'idah 5:93: "O you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divinations by) arrows, are an abomination of Satan's handiwork: Avoid such (abomination) that you may prosper."

Al-Ma'idah 5:93: "Satan's plan is to sow enmity and hatred among you with intoxicants and gambling, and to hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. Will you not then give up."

The above verses came over period of years and when the last verse came, Muslims threw away all the wine into the streets and stopped completely in whatever state they were in, and streets of Medina were flowing with wine.

Sayings of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and about wine and other intoxicants.

1. "Every intoxicant is khamr, and every khamr is haram (unlawful)- reported by Muslim.

2. "Of that which intoxicates in a large amount, a small amount is haram" (Ahmad, Abu-Daud and Al-Tirrnizi,).

3. "Khamar (intoxicants) is the mother of all evils". Reported in Bukhari.

The solutions: There are no easy solutions. In fact it is a multifactorial problem and each aspect should be addressed individually, and seriously, both by the government and by the public. While the total ban on production, import and export is the ideal solution to create a drug free society, by experience (i.e. in the USA with total ban on alcohol in 1920's) it is difficult to achieve unless strict laws are made and enforced on drug producers, traffickers and offenders, a law, that sees distinction between the helpless victim and a powerful drug Lord. Our current system punishes the former and spares the latter. Islam offers such tough laws to influence our morality and health. While we are trying to do these, we in the mean time should pay more attention to the needs of the victim by the education of the masses, social workers, law enforcements agencies and the physicians at the same time developing treatment and rehab centers in large scale as human sufferings continues to grow and son, daughters, husbands and fathers are being lost daily. All these require motivation and commitment from all of us. It is beyond the dignity of a human being to become dependent on alcohol and drugs and not be able to serve himself, his family and his creator in the best possible manner. 



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Tafeer Of Surah al-Baqarah (2), Verse 219 (Part 1) 








"They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, "In both there is great sin, and some benefits for people. And their sin is greater than their benefit." (2:219) 




This verse forms part of the series of questions asked by the noble Companions. These are as they appear in this Surah along with the answers given. Here, the question is about wine and gambling which has been answered by Allah Almighty by pointing out that the use and practice of these two things breeds major sins while people may also get some benefits from them, but the sin they release is far too grave than the benefit they give, implying that both these are worth abandoning. 


Since these two issues are very serious, they need a somewhat detailed inquiry into their nature and the injunctions relating to them. 


The Prohibition of Wine, and Related Injunctions 


When Islam came, drinking was common practice as part of the general state of Jahili customs. When the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him emigrated to Madinah, people of that city were also accustomed to wine and gambling. Common people were infatuated with these in view of their obvious benefits. They had no idea of the evils inherent in these practices. However, it is the usual practice of Allah that there are, in every nation and in every country, sensible people who use reason to control their temperaments. They would not go'near an emotional urge if it goes against the dictates of reason. In this regard, the station of the noble Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him; was way high, for he had a built-in distaste for things which were going to be declared haram later on. Even among the blessed Companions there were some who had not touched wine during the days it was an open practice. 


It was after reaching Madinah al-Tayyibah that some Companions became deeply concerned about the evil effects of these two involvements. It was due to this concern that Sayyidna 'Umar al-Faruq Radhi-Allahu Anh: Allah be pleased with him and Mu'adh ibn Jabal Radhi-Allahu Anh: Allah be pleased with him along with some Ansari Companions presented themselves before the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him and told him how wine and gambling not only spoil man's reason but also cause financial loss and sought his advice in this connection. It was in answer to their question that the present verse was revealed. This is the first verse in which the elementary step to stop Muslim from wine and gambling was taken. 


What the verse says is clear from its translation, and its explanation which follows immediately. It may be added here that the word, 'Ithm' or sin includes everything that may become a preliminary to sin. For instance, wine dulls senses and weakens the power of reason, something basic to human excellence. Human reason acts as a brake against human indulgence in evil deeds. Once reason is blocked out, the door is opened for all sorts of evil deeds.


It will be noted that drinking has not been clearly identified as something unlawful in this verse, but its evils has certainly been pointed out, which may lead man into many sinful activities. In a way, this takes the form of a good counsel urging man to abandon it. That is why, soon after the revelation of this verse, some noble Companions took this good counsel of the Holy Qur'an so seriously that they stopped drinking then and there. There were some others among them who thought that the verse, in fact, has not declared wine as haram; it has, instead, identified it as a cause of sin in as much as it does lead to evils religiously undesirable, so, if they can manage to keep themselves immune from such evils, what harm could there be if they continued drinking?


Consequently, so they did, until came a day when the blessed Companion, 'Abd al-Rahman ibn 'Awf (R.A) invited some of his friends from among the noble Companions at his home. When dinner was over, everybody started drinking wine as usual. In the meantime, came the time for Maghrib salah. Everybody stood up for salah and selected one of them to lead the prayers. The Imam began his recitation from the Holy Qur'an, but drunk as he was, he recited the Surah al-Kafirun all wrong. Thereupon, the second step against drinking was taken and the following verse was revealed:


"O those who believe, do not go near Salah when you are intoxicated." (4:43) 


Here, drinking was declared to be absolutely unlawful at the time of the Salah. Other times remained open. Some of the noble Companions had totally stopped drinking following the revelation of the first verse deducing from it that something which stops one from Salah cannot hold any good at all. And now that Salah has been prohibited in a state of intoxication, one should keep his distance from that which deprives one from Salah. However, since wine was not forbidden clearly and explicity during hours other than those of Salah, there were some who continued drinking during other hours until when there occured yet another incident. This time it was the blessed Companion, Itban ibn Malik who invited some Companions, Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas being one of them. Once the dinner was over, wine was served in accordance with the custom. Then, turning to another customary Arab practice at that time, the intoxicated party started talking poetry and began reciting their respective accomplishments and excellences. 


The Companion Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas Radhi-Allahu Anh: Allah be pleased with him recited a Qasidah [An Arab poetical form introduced by the modern poet, Garcia Lorca in the West.] poem in which he satirized the Ansar (helpers) of Madinah and eulogized his own tribal affinities. This made an Ansari youngman angry and he hit Sa'd Radhi-Allahu Anh: Allah be pleased with him with a jaw-bone from a camel causing severe injury on his head. Sayyidna Sa'd Radhi-Allahu Anh: Allah be pleased with him came to the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him and complained against that Ansari youngman. At that time, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him raised his hands in prayer and said: , that is, 'O Allah, give us a clear and conclusive guidance in the matter of wine'. Thereupon, the third verse regarding wine, that of Surah al-Ma'idah, was revealed with details declaring wine to be absolutely unlawful. The verse is as follows:


"O you who believe! wine and gambling and stone altars and drawing of lots with arrows are only an abomination, a work of Satan; so shun it, that haply you may prosper." (5:90)


The Gradual Forbiddance of Wine 


Being supreme in His authority, Allah alone knows the real wisdom behind all divine imperatives, but a close look into the Islamic legal code reveals that the Shari'ah of Islam has left ample room for human emotions when following its dictates. This is to give man the least possible inconvenience. The Holy Qur'an has itself said: 'Allah does not obligate anyone beyond his or her capacity'(2:286). It was the demand of this mercy and wisdom that made Islam go slow on forbidding wine. 


The gist of the Qur'anic history of forbidding wine through a gradual process is that it has revealed four verses on the subject. As said earlier, one of these verses belongs to Surah al-Baqarah, the explanation of which you are reading through now. Here, wine has been identified as sin-prone, a corrupting agent. The mention of wine has been left at that point. It has not been 'forbidden'. This, in a way, is a manner of saying that the habit of drinking is worth leaving, but the direct command to quit drinking was not given.


The second verse: 'do not go near salah when you are intoxicated' (4:43) appears in Surah al-Nisa'. Here, wine was declared to be unlawful during salah hours. At other times, the choice remained open. 


The third and the fourth verses belong to Surah al-Ma'idah. In these two, as mentioned earlier, wine was declared to be unlawful clearly and absolutely. 


The Shari'ah of Islam used the method of gradual prohibition of wine for the simple reason that it would have been much too hard on human temperament to cut away from the habit of a life-time, specially so the habit of addiction to intoxicants. Scholars have said: : that is, it is harder to change an ongoing habit for man than it is for a child used to suckling at his mother's breast. So, moving wisely, Islam first stressed on its evil, then prohibited it only at the time of salah and finally after the passage of a certain time, it was absolutely forbidden. 


However, the wisdom that required a gradual process before the prohibition had equally required that once the prohibition is promulgated, it should be implemented with its full force. That is why the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him, in the early stages, warned people against the use of wine and told them how it invited divine punishment. He said that wine was the source of evils and indecencies and one who indulges in it can go on to commit even the worst possible sins. In a hadith, he said 'Wine and Faith cannot be combined.'These narrations appear in al-Nasa'i.


In the Jami' of al-Tirmidhi, there is a narration from the blessed Companion Anas Radhi-Allahu Anh: Allah be pleased with him which reports that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him has cursed ten people in relation to wine, being the crusher or presser or squeezer, the distiller, the user, the server, the carrier, the receiver (the one for whom it is carried), the seller, the buyer, the giver (as gift), and the one who uses the income arising from it.


This verbal teaching and persuasion was not all that he stopped at, he took practical steps and made a legally binding proclamation that whosoever has any wine in possession should deposit it at an appointed place.


The Matchless Obedience of the Blessed Companions (radiallaahu 'anhum ajma'een)


As soon as the first order came to them, the noble Companions, obedient and responsive as they were, lost no time and took out all wine stored in their homes for personal use and poured it out on the streets then and there. Sayyidna 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar, Radhi-Allahu Anh: Allah be pleased with him has reported that at the time when the proclaimer appointed by the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him, went around the streets of Madinah announcing that wine was forbidden, whoever had a vessel of wine in his hands, threw it away right where he was and whoever had cups or goblets or flasks of wine in the house, brought these out and smashed them off. Sayyidna Anas was happily busy serving wine to a gathering of friends at that time. Present there were great Companions like Abu Talha, Abu 'Ubaydah ibn Jarrah, Ubaiyy ibn Ka'b and Suhayl (R.A). When the voice of the proclaimer struck their ears, everybody present said, 'Now, pour all this wine down on the ground and break all cups and goblets and ewers and pitchers.' In some narrations it is said that it was immediately with the announcement that wine had become unlawful that everyone who had a cup of wine reaching close to his lips was electrified and threw it away right there. 


That day, wine was flowing down the streets of Madinah like a stream of rainwater, and as a result of that, it remained usual in the streets of Madinah for a long time that rains would reactivate the smell of wine soaked in the ground, as well as its colour, which would show up on the surface. 


When people were ordered to deposit whatever wine they had at a given place, not much was left there to deposit except the limited stock of wine casks and bags, available in the market for commercial sales. So obedient were the noble Companions that they deposited those too at the designated place without the least hesitation. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him went there personally and slit many leather wine-bags with his own blessed hands and let the rest be slit apart by other Companions. 


Another Companion, a businessman who imported wine from Syria happened to be on a business trip in Syria. He had taken his entire capital with him against which he bought a stock of wine for commercial sales. When he returned with his cargo, he came to know that wine had been declared haram before he could enter the city limits of Madinah. Having heard about the ban on wine, the Companion who was a model of devotion and sacrifice, and who was also returning home after investing all his capital and labour hoping to make a big profit out of it, quietly stacked it on a wayside hillock, came down to see the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him asking him about this stock of his: 'What should I do?' The Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him ordered him, in accordance with the Divine command, that he should tear out all those leather bags and pour the wine in them down on the ground. This wonderful lover of Allah and His Messenger did not hesitate for a moment. 


Using his own hands, he poured forth all his invested capital on the sands of that hill-slope. This too is a great miracle of Islam, and a demonstration of mind-boggling and virtually unrivalled obedience that came about during this episode. Imagine how difficult it is to shake off the habit of being used to something while these people were chronically habituated to consuming wine and could not stay away from it even for a little while. For them, it was just that command from their Lord proclaimed by His prophet which brought about such an instant change in their habits that they started hating the same wine and gambling they were so addicted to.


Islamic Strategy for a Social Change 


The verses above and the events connected with them present before us a model of active Muslim response to the law making wine unlawful. One may call it a miracle of Islam or a unique outcome of prophetic teaching and training or the inevitable end-product of Islamic methodology of social change, the fact is that its effectiveness was phenomenal. Compared to this was the attempt at prohibition made in the United States with the support of experts, lobbies, law, media and constitutional amendment which failed in the face of much increased use of liquor making the authorities cancel their plans. What is the secret behind this enormous difference? 


The secret is that Islam has never depended on law alone as the tool of social reform. Law not being sufficient, it has first prepared and fine-tuned the minds of its people tempering their attitudes with the golden prescription of a deep devotion to and worship of their Creator, moderation in worldly living and a genuine concern for the life to come. The great revolution brought in this manner produced matchless men who would eagerly come forward to sacrifice their life, property, honour, anything and everything at one call from their prophet. This task of preparing men who would match the mission continued throughout the Makkan period by means of rigorous spiritual training. Once such a devoted group of people was ready, then came the law. No doubt, the Americans too did their best utilizing the vast powers of the media, but they had everything with them except the concern for the life to come while the concern for the Hereafter was the very life-blood of Muslims. 


The golden prescription is still there, very much valid, waiting for peaceless people round the world to use it. Let the wise think. 


The Good and Evil of Wine 


The 'good' in wine is popularly known as a certain taste and a feeling of well-being, professed increase of temporary energy, and a given glow on the face. Being transient, these benefits hardly stand against the array of evils it breeds. Take the human body first. Drinking causes mal-function of the stomach, reduces desire to eat, affects facial contours, inflates the waistline, hurts the liver and the kidneys and becomes a contributor to all sorts of diseases. Reason does not work under the influence of hard drinks which goes beyond the time one claims to have become sober. The hangover turns out to be as bad. Wine, a tempting stimulant and a much romanticized poison works slowly, inspite of the spirited defence put up by its users. The fact is that drinking not only harms them but affects their children as well. 


Socially, drinking may become the cause of mutual malice and enmity which is a great evil in the sight of Islamic law. It is for this reason that the Holy Qur'an particularly mentions this evil in Surah al-Ma'idah: 


"The Satan only wants that hositility and hatred come to stay between you through wine and gambling." (5:91)


One of the most harmful drawbacks of drinking shows up when a person under its influence lets out his guarded secrets. It becomes much more disasterous if the culprit happens to be a state functionary in possession of vital government secrets. Passing these out to an enemy agent can cause great damage to the state through a coup, a political loss or a challenge to national defence. Clever spies are always on the look out for such opportunities. 


So, the habit of drinking is not only an evil in itself but a mother of other evils as well making men ready to commit the worst possible crimes against their fellow-beings.


The physical evils of drinking are too well-known to recount here while its spiritual evils are equally obvious. Wine is harmful because the Holy Qur'an says: 'It prevents you from remembering Allah and from the Salah'. Then, the question asked by the Holy Qur'an is: 'Would you then desist?'


The Forbiddance of Wine: A Complete View 


Upto this point, we have discussed four verses of the Holy Qur'an which deal with the unlawfulness of wine, and its forbiddance. It seems appropriate that yet another mention of intoxicants made by the Holy Qur'an in Surah Al-Nahl in a different context should be brought into focus here so that we have all Qur'anic statements concerning wine and intoxicants in one complete frame of reference.


The said verse is as follows: 


"And of the fruits of the palms and the vines, you take therefrom an intoxicant and a good provision. Surely, in that there is a sign for a people who understand." (16:67)


In verses preceding the one above, mention was made of Allah's blessings which cause production of human food through unique mechanisms. It was said:


"And surely in the cattle there is a lesson for you; We give you to drink of what is in their bellies, between filth and blood, pure milk, sweet to drinkers." (16:66) 


The text uses the word, 'nusqikum' which means 'We gave you milk to drink' implying that it needs no further human processing. Following this, it was said that man procures things to eat, as well as, makes things which benefit him. Here, the hint is that human processing plays some part in procuring what he eats and in making what he uses to his advantage. And it is as a result of the entry of the human factor that two types of things were produced. One of these is an intoxicant known as wine while the other is 'a good provision', such as the dates and the grapes which can be used fresh off the palms and vines or can be dried and stored for later use. In short, Allah Almighty, in His perfect creativity, gave man fruits such as dates and grapes and gave him the added right to use them as food. Now what he makes out of them is his choice, either make intoxicants out of them and thereby spoil his reason, or use them for food and energy. According to this explanation, this verse cannot be used to argue in support of the lawfulness of intoxicating wine. The reason is simple. Here, the purpose is to describe the gifts of nature and to point out to the different forms in which they could be used which is all part of the same Divine blessing.


For instance, consider all that man eats and things man uses to his advantage. There are many who use these in ways that are impermissible but, the incidence of someone using things wrongfully does not preclude a blessing from remaining a blessing. So, the context of the statement needs no details as to which use is permissible or impermissibe, however, there is a subtle indication embedded here too. If we look at how 'sakar: intoxicant' has been counter-poised by 'rizqan hasana': 'a good provision', we would realize that an intoxicant is not a good provision. The majority of commentators take sakar to mean something that intoxicates. (Ruh al-Ma'ani, Qurtubi and Jassas) 


There is a consensus of the Ummah that these verses are Makkan while the unlawfulness of wine was revealed later on in Madinah al-Tayyibvah. Even though wine was lawful at the time these verses were revealed and Muslims used to indulge in wine generally yet, even at that stage, a hint was made in the verse that indulging in wine is not good. Later on, came the Qur'anic command which clearly and forcefully made wine unlawful


Some Juristic Rules and Related Notes 


1) In this verse, the acknowledgement of some benefits of wine and gambling has been combined with the instruction to desist from them which helps us deduce the rule that the presence of material benefits in some thing or act is not contrary to its being declared haram under the Islamic law. We know that a certain medicine or food item is called harmful if its harmful effects are far stronger than its benefits. If this was not so, nothing in this world, not even the worst, would turn out to be totally devoid of any benefit. 


A deadly poison, the snake and the scorpion and the wild beasts, they all have their benefits but, speaking generally, they are called harmful and people are told to watch out against them. Similarly, keeping in view the essential sense, things the evils of which are greater than their benefits are declared haram or unlawful under the Shari'ah. None of the crimes such as theft, robbery, adultery, kidnapping and fraud are devoid of some benefit, for had they been totally benefitless no sane person would ever go near them, even though the most perfect people in all such crimes are those known for their tact and intelligence.


This tells us that some or the other benefit does show up in all crimes but, since their harmfulness is greater than their benefit, no sane person stands up to declare them as useful and permissible. It is under this principle that the Shari'ah of Islam has made wine and gambling unlawful.


2) This verse also provides the rule that the elimination of evil takes precedence over the acquisition of benefit, that is, should something give a certain benefit along with causing some harm, it becomes necessary to abandon the benefit in order to stay safe against the harm. In other words, a benefit which comes with harmfulness attached to it is ignored. (Ma'ariful Qur'an, Volume 1)


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Medical Aspect

From: Exposure to Psychotropic Medications and Other Substances during Pregnancy and Lactation: A Handbook for Health Care Providers


No clear line indicates when substance use becomes a problem that is severe enough to need treatment. However, the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) includes substance-related disorders as one of the classes of mental disorders. Many clinicians use the DSM-IV’s diagnostic criteria for substance abuse and substance dependence to help screen for substance use problems. These criteria are listed below.


Addiction versus dependence

The definitions of “addiction” and “dependence” have evolved over the last few decades, and continue to be debated.



Addiction is a primary, chronic, neurobiologic disease with genetic, psychosocial and environmental factors that influence its development and manifestations. It is characterized by behaviours that include one or more of the following:

  • loss of control over drug use
  • continued use despite harm
  • compulsive use and craving.


The four Cs of addiction1
Typical statements

Loss of Control over use

“Every time I try to limit my use to only once a week, I end up using every day.”

“I try to limit myself to one drink per day but once I start, I can’t seem to stop until I pass out.”


Continued use despite knowledge of harmful Consequences

“I know my drug use caused my HIV but I can’t stop using.”

“I have to stop using because my life is out of control, but using is the only option for me.”


Compulsion to use

“All I do is think about how I am going to score.”

“No matter what I do, I can’t get drugs out of my mind and I feel I have to use and use a lot. Once I want to use, it is like I am on autopilot and I just have to use. I’ll do anything to get drugs.”



“It’s like a physical drive or urge to use. I want it from the pit of my stomach; I get sweaty just thinking about it. At times, these urges come out of nowhere, or I get them when I meet my using buddies, pass the corner where my dealer hangs out or am feeling down.”


There are several theories of addiction, but the most compelling one views it as a multifactorial disease caused by predisposing and precipitating factors.2 This view describes the disease as the interaction between host (i.e., the person who is addicted to the substance), agent (i.e., the drug) and environmental determinants (i.e., social determinants of health), affected by a vector (e.g., a person or an industry that promotes the drug and/or creates conducive conditions for its increased use and the subsequent harm associated with that use).3 And there is emerging evidence that the neurobiology of addiction provides the basis for understanding why people have great difficulty remaining abstinent, even years after withdrawal is overcome.4-6


Physical dependence

Physical dependence is often thought to be the thing that defines addiction, but this is not always necessary or sufficient for a diagnosis of substance dependence. Nevertheless, understanding the components of physical dependence is important because discontinuation of some substances requires clinical management. The two related observable phenomena that comprise physical dependence are tolerance and withdrawal.



Tolerance is due to compensatory changes, such as downregulation and desensitization, in the number and sensitivity of central nervous system receptors. Over time, these changes compel a person to take more of the drug to achieve the same effect; or if the person maintains the same level and pattern of consumption, she stops experiencing the desired effect. The time it takes to develop tolerance to the various effects of a given drug differs considerably.



Withdrawal is a specific syndrome that often begins within a few hours of stopping a drug. This occurs because the downregulation of receptors leads to unstable neurotransmission. These receptors take days or weeks to normalize with abstinence, creating a constellation of symptoms and signs that are opposite to the drug’s main effect.


The acute withdrawal for most drugs starts within a half-life of the drug, peaks within three to five half-lives of the drug and then resolves within a week or two at most; however, this is often followed by intense cravings for the drug, dysphoric mood and other symptoms that can lead to relapse.


Substance-related disorders

The DSM-IV-TR7 classifies substance-related disorders as substance use disorders (which are further categorized as either substance dependence and substance abuse) or substance-induced disorders. The criteria for substance use disorders follow.

DSM-IV-TR criteria for substance dependence


A maladaptive pattern of substance use, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by three (or more) of the following, occurring at any time in the same 12-month period:


  1. tolerance, as defined by either of the following:
    a. a need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication or desired effect
    b. markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance
  2. withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:
    a. the characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the substance . . .
    b. the same (or a closely related) substance is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms
  3. the substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended
  4. there is a persistent desire or [there are] unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use
  5. a great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance (e.g., visiting multiple doctors or driving long distances), use the substance (e.g., chain smoking), or recover from its effects
  6. important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of substance use
  7. the substance use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance (e.g., current cocaine use despite recognition of cocaine-induced depression, or continued drinking despite recognition that an ulcer was made worse by alcohol consumption).


DSM-IV-TR criteria for substance abuse

A. A maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by one (or more) of the following, occurring within a 12-month period:


  1. recurrent substance use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home (e.g., repeated absences or poor work performance related to substance use; substance-related absences, suspensions, or expulsions from school; neglect of children or household)
  2. recurrent substance use in situations in which it is physically hazardous (e.g., driving an automobile or operating a machine when impaired by substance use)
  3. recurrent substance-related legal problems (e.g., arrests for substance-related disorderly conduct)
  4. continued substance use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the substance (e.g., arguments with spouse about consequences of intoxication, physical fights)


B. The symptoms have never met the criteria for substance dependence for this class of substance.*

*Reprinted with permission from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Copyright 2000. American Psychiatric Association.


  1. Graham, A.W., Schultz, T.K., Mayo-Smith, M.F., Ries, R.K. & Wilford, B.B. (Eds.). (2003). Principles of Addiction Medicine  (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: American Society of Addiction Medicine.
  2. Volkow, N.D. & Li, T.K. (2005). Drugs and alcohol: Treating and preventing abuse, addiction and their medical consequences. Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 108 (1), 3–17.
  3. Volkow, N.D. (2005). What do we know about drug addiction? American Journal of Psychiatry, 162 (8), 1401–1402.
  4. Hyman, S.E. (2005). Addiction: A disease of learning and memory. American Journal of Psychiatry, 162 (8), 1414–1422.
  5. Hyman, S.E. & Malenka, R.C. (2001). Addiction and the brain: The neurobiology of compulsion and its persistence. Nature Reviews: Neuroscience, 2 (10), 695–703.
  6. Hyman, S.E., Malenka, R.C. & Nestler, E.J. (2006). Neural mechanisms of addiction: The role of reward-related learning and memory. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 29, 565–598.
  7. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.



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Possible Underlying Causes


Causes of Drug Addiction - What Causes Drug Addiction?


Drug addiction refers to the compulsive and repeated use of increasing amounts of drugs with the appearance of withdrawal symptoms when drug use ceases. While the specific causes of drug addiction are not known, genetic, psychological and environmental factors are thought to play a significant role. Rather than a single cause of drug addiction, it is likely multiple factors lead to drug addiction in any given person.


Some drug addicts also identify drug use and ignorance as a cause of drug addiction. Often, if a person is dealing with pain-management issues, the drug they receive, like oxycodone, can be very addictive. The ignorance of the drug's addiction potential, along with the physical pain of the condition, becomes a cause of drug addiction.


Psychological Causes of Drug Addiction

While biological causes of drug addiction have been suggested, many people still believe psychological factors comprise the bulk of what causes drug addiction. Some of the psychological causes of drug addiction appear to stem from trauma, often when the drug addict is young. Sexual or physical abuse, neglect, or chaos in the home can all lead to psychological stress, which people attempt to "self-medicate" (decrease the stress's pain through drug use). This self-medication becomes a cause of drug addiction.1


Other psychological causes of drug addiction include:

  • A mental illness such as depression
  • Inability to connect with others, lack of friends
  • Poor performance at work or school
  • Poor stress coping skills


Environmental Causes of Drug Addiction

A person's environment can be part of what causes drug addiction. Drug addiction is more common in environments where drug abuse is seen or where it's seen as permissible. Children who grow up in homes with drug addicts often become drug addicts themselves.

Because most drug use starts in adolescence (read: teenage drug abuse). Those with inattentive, abusive or neglectful parents are more prone to drug abuse. One cause of drug addiction can be the combination of drug experimentation with the lack of parental oversight.


Other environmental factors that can be causes of drug abuse include:


  • Participation in a sport where performance-enhancing drugs are encouraged
  • A peer group that uses or promotes drug use
  • People of lower socioeconomic status are at greater risk of drug addiction
  • Gender and ethnicity contribute to addiction of some drugs


Genetic Causes of Drug Addiction

Drug addiction tends to run in families, indicating genetics may have a role in causing drug addiction. In fact, in studies of twins it appears half of someone's risk of becoming addicted to drugs is genetic.2 Genetic causes of drug addiction appear to involve multiple gene sequences and science has not yet been able to pinpoint all the genes involved. However, it is known some genes, like those involved in brain receptors of nicotine, contribute to the cause of drug addiction.


article references





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What Causes Drug Abuse in Young Women?


Between the ages of 8 and 22, girls become young women. In these years, they are maturing both physically and mentally. They are forming their identity, a sense-of-self, and self-worth. These adolescent years are the most significant years of development, years critical to a young woman’s health and success later down the road. Unfortunately, adolescence and young adulthood are also times of great susceptibility. Girls are transitioning from middle school to high school, and for the first time, are experiencing many social pressures, physical changes, and stronger desires to fit in.


A recent study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University revealed that girls and young women commonly initiate substance abuse during these crucial years. Often, their reasons for trying drugs are tied to the stress and pressures experienced in this transitional period. Sometimes, the causes of drug use in young women are rooted much deeper.


The study proved that the reasons for early drug use among females are very pronounced in young womanhood and widely different than the causes of drug abuse among young men. The study also showed that females, on average, actually become dependent faster and suffer the consequences of drugs sooner than males. Even more, young women are at greater risk of drug abuse and addiction.


Why do girls and young women use drugs in adolescence? What are the risk factors for drug use in females? And what steps can we, as parents and educators, take to prevent it? The following seven factors are the leading causes of drug abuse in girls and young women.


1. Depression and Mental Illnesses

Depression in adolescent girls is not uncommon. Over one-third of high school girls reports regular feelings of sadness or hopelessness. These girls are likelier than boys to consider (23.6 percent vs. 14.2 percent) and attempt (11.2 percent vs. 6.2 percent) suicide. Substance abuse and mental illnesses such as depression often go hand-in-hand. Young women who are depressed and suicidal often self-medicate with drugs of abuse, increasing their risk of drug addiction.  


2. History of Trauma

Among all adolescents in drug treatment, nearly twice as many girls as boys report sexual or physical abuse in their lifetime. Girls who have been physically or sexually abused are also twice as likely to smoke, drink, and use drugs than those who were not abused in childhood.


3. Stress and Inability to Cope

While males tend to externalize their stress with aggression and delinquency, females have a tendency to internalize their reactions to stress. In most cases of severe stress, young women become depressed and withdrawn. According to the survey, 41 percent of young women report their inability to cope with stress as the main reason for using drugs. Stressful life events may include a death or illness in family or friends, parental divorce, changes in school or relationships, and moving from home to home.


4. Low Self-Esteem

Low self-confidence frequently accompanies the teenage years. This is especially true among girls. Body-image and social image are often top priorities for high school girls who want to fit in. They associate weight loss with beauty and popularity. They associate drinking, drug use, and smoking with being sexy, trendy, and cool. They believe that drugs are the answer to their problems.

Teenage girls with low self-confidence are twice as likely as those with higher self-confidence to report drug use. Not only are high school girls more than double as likely to diet and engage in unhealthy weight-related behaviors than boys, but they are also more likely to use drugs or alcohol to try to control their weight.


5. Social Pressures

One study found that many teenage girls initiate drug use to fit in with their peers. Another study of 11 to 13-year old girls revealed that the most “popular” girls believe they are under even more pressure to smoke, drink, and try drugs. According to the report, the more friends a girl has who smoke, drink, or use drugs; the likelier she is to do so herself. If five of her close friends drink alcohol, she is over seven times likelier to drink.


6. Academic Pressures

High school is undoubtedly a time of great academic pressure for young women. It is the time that matters most for colleges, and the time in which students come to a new, mature level of learning. Yet academics and substance abuse can easily (and dangerously) intertwine. Teens who get A’s and B’s in school are at half the risk of drug use as teens who have poor school performance.


7. Lack of Parent-Child Communication

One of the greatest things a parent can do to prevent their daughter’s drug use is simply to communicate. If you believe your teenager is at risk of using drugs, talk to her about the consequences of drug abuse and her options. Teach her how to say no. Educate her about the risks of substance abuse.

Research has proven that the majority of girls who have conversations with their parents about drinking or drug use are reportedly less likely to smoke, drink, or use drugs. Over 50 percent of these girls reported that these conversations helped them learn new things about alcohol or illegal drugs that they did not already know. A lack of communication or relationship between a girl and her parents, however, can lead to earlier initiation of alcohol use and a greater likelihood of drug abuse in young women.


Young women who abuse drugs do so for significantly different reasons than mean. While men use drugs for sensation or social purposes, females are likelier to use drugs to cope with problems, relieve negative feelings, reduce tension, boost confidence, enhance sex and lose weight. For these very reasons, gender-specific treatment is a necessary consideration when considering treatment programs for your daughter.





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Most drug addictions start with experimental use of a drug in social situations. For some people, the drug use becomes more frequent. The risk of addiction and how fast you become dependent varies by drug. Some drugs have a higher risk and cause dependency more quickly than others.

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's increasingly difficult to go without the drug. Attempts to stop drug use may cause intense cravings and make you feel physically ill (withdrawal symptoms).


Drug addiction symptoms or behaviors include, among others:


  • Feeling that you have to use the drug regularly — this can be daily or even several times a day
  • Having intense urges for the drug
  • Over time, needing more of the drug to get the same effect
  • Making certain that you maintain a supply of the drug
  • Spending money on the drug, even though you can't afford it
  • Not meeting obligations and work responsibilities, or cutting back on social or recreational activities because of drug use
  • Doing things to get the drug that you normally wouldn't do, such as stealing
  • 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
  • Failing in your attempts to stop using the drug
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to stop taking the drug


Recognizing drug abuse in family members


Sometimes it's difficult to distinguish normal teenage moodiness or angst from signs of drug use. Possible indications that your teenager or other family member is using drugs include:


  • Problems at school or work — frequently missing school or work, a sudden disinterest in school activities or work, or a drop in grades or work performance
  • Physical health issues — lack of energy and motivation
  • Neglected appearance — lack of interest in clothing, grooming or looks
  • Changes in behavior — exaggerated efforts to bar family members from entering his or her room or being secretive about where he or she goes with friends; or drastic changes in behavior and in relationships with family and friends
  • Spending money — sudden requests for money without a reasonable explanation; or your discovery that money is missing or has been stolen or that items have disappeared from your home, indicating maybe they're being sold to support drug use


Recognizing signs of drug use or intoxication


Signs and symptoms of drug use or intoxication may vary, depending on the type of drug.





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Drug Addiction Treatment Therapies: An Overview


Why Therapy?


The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) outlines several principles of addiction treatment based on data the organization has collected for the past 40 years. These principles aim to improve the odds of success in treatment by ending (or moderating) drug use, lowering the risk of relapse, and allowing the person with addiction to rebuild or restart their lives. These principles include notions like:


  • Addiction is a multifaceted problem, but one that can be treated effectively.
  • Treatment should be directed to the individual person rather than to their drug(s) of choice.
  • Treatment can be helpful even if the client initially goes involuntarily. (Eventually, the client's voluntary participation in treatment will influence their recovery path.)
  • Medications can be an important part of treatment to address drug abuse or the mental health aspects underlying substance use.
  • Counseling and behavioral therapies are highly utilized and the best available treatment options for drug abuse.


This final notion is an important one. Many agree that behavioral therapies are an essential element to treat substance use, but with so many options, it can be challenging to know what forms of treatment are available, how they differ, and which is best for the individual. It should also be mentioned that the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) does not believe that there is any one approach that is appropriate for every person.


It is important to learn about the different styles of therapy when attempting to find the right program for yourself or someone you love.


Types of Addiction Treatment Therapies

Addiction treatment therapies include (but are not limited to) the following:






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Alcohol Abuse Treatments


What Are the Treatments for Alcohol Use Disorder?


Alcohol use disorder is what doctors call it when you can’t control how much you drink and have trouble with your emotions when you’re not drinking. Some people may think the only way to deal with it is with willpower, as if it’s a problem they have to work through all on their own.

But alcohol use disorder is actually considered a brain disease. Alcohol causes changes in your brain that make it hard to quit. Trying to tough it out on your own can be like trying to cure appendicitis with cheerful thoughts. It’s not enough.


An important first step is to learn more about your treatments, and there are a lot to choose from.


Start With Your Doctor

Alcoholism (not a medical term) is a type of alcohol use disorder. Milder cases -- when people abuse alcohol but aren’t dependent on it -- are as well.


Your doctor may say you have alcohol use disorder if you:

  • Feel like you have to drink
  • Can’t control how much you drink
  • Feel bad when you can’t drink

When you meet with your doctor, talk about your goals. Are you trying to drink less or stop drinking completely? Together, you can start to make a treatment plan. You doctor also can refer you to a treatment center or experts who can help.


Treatment Options

The one that’s right for you depends on your situation and your goals. Many people find that a combination of treatments works best, and you can get them together through a program. Some of these are inpatient or residential programs, where you stay at a treatment center for a while. Others are outpatient programs, where you live at home and go to the center for treatment.


Go to Detox

For people who have severe alcohol use disorder, this is a key step. The goal is to stop drinking and give your body time to get the alcohol out of your system. That usually takes a few days to a week.


Most people go to a hospital or treatment center because of withdrawal symptoms like:


Doctors and other experts can keep an eye on you and give you medicine to help with your symptoms.





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 Key facts¹


  • Worldwide, 3.3 million deaths every year result from harmful use of alcohol,² this represent 5.9 % of all deaths.


  • The harmful use of alcohol is a causal factor in more than 200 disease and injury conditions.


  • Overall 5.1 % of the global burden of disease and injury is attributable to alcohol, as measured in disability- adjusted life years (DALYs).³


  • Alcohol consumption causes death and disability relatively early in life. In the age group 20 – 39 years approximately 25 % of the total deaths are alcohol-attributable.


  • There is a causal relationship between harmful use of alcohol and a range of mental and behavioural disorders, other noncommunicable conditions as well as injuries.


  • The latest causal relationships have been established between harmful drinking and incidence of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis as well as the course of HIV/AIDS.


  • Beyond health consequences, the harmful use of alcohol brings significant social and economic losses to individuals and society at large.



Alcohol is a psychoactive substance with dependence-producing properties that has been widely used in many cultures for centuries. The harmful use of alcohol causes a large disease, social and economic burden in societies.


Alcohol impacts people and societies in many ways and it is determined by the volume of alcohol consumed, the pattern of drinking, and, on rare occasions, the quality of alcohol consumed. In 2012, about 3.3 million deaths, or 5.9 % of all global deaths, were attributable to alcohol consumption.

The harmful use of alcohol can also result in harm to other people, such as family members, friends, co-workers and strangers. Moreover, the harmful use of alcohol results in a significant health, social and economic burden on society at large.


Alcohol consumption is a causal factor in more than 200 disease and injury conditions. Drinking alcohol is associated with a risk of developing health problems such as mental and behavioural disorders, including alcohol dependence, major noncommunicable diseases such as liver cirrhosis, some cancers and cardiovascular diseases, as well as injuries resulting from violence and road clashes and collisions.


A significant proportion of the disease burden attributable to alcohol consumption arises from unintentional and intentional injuries, including those due to road traffic crashes, violence, and suicides, and fatal alcohol-related injuries tend to occur in relatively younger age groups.


The latest causal relationships are those between harmful drinking and incidence of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis as well as the course of HIV/AIDS. Alcohol consumption by an expectant mother may cause fetal alcohol syndrome and pre-term birth complications.


Factors affecting alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm


A variety of factors have been identified at the individual and the societal level, which affect the levels and patterns of alcohol consumption and the magnitude of alcohol-related problems in populations.


Environmental factors include economic development, culture, availability of alcohol, and the comprehensiveness and levels of implementation and enforcement of alcohol policies. For a given level or pattern of drinking, vulnerabilities within a society are likely to have similar differential effects as those between societies. Although there is no single risk factor that is dominant, the more vulnerabilities a person has, the more likely the person is to develop alcohol-related problems as a result of alcohol consumption.



Conceptual causal model of alcohol consumption and health outcomes


The impact of alcohol consumption on chronic and acute health outcomes in populations is largely determined by 2 separate but related dimensions of drinking:


  • the total volume of alcohol consumed, and
  • the pattern of drinking.


The context of drinking plays an important role in occurrence of alcohol-related harm, particularly associated with health effects of alcohol intoxication, and, on rare occasions, also the quality of alcohol consumed. Alcohol consumption can have an impact not only on the incidence of diseases, injuries and other health conditions, but also on the course of disorders and their outcomes in individuals.


There are gender differences in alcohol-related mortality, morbidity, as well as levels and patterns of alcohol consumption. The percentage of alcohol-attributable deaths among men amount to 7.6 % of all global deaths compared to 4.0 % of all deaths among women. Total alcohol per capita consumption in 2010 among male and female drinkers worldwide was on average 21.2 litres for males and 8.9 litres of pure alcohol for females.




  • Based on the Global status report on alcohol and health 2014.
  • The Global strategy refers only to public-health effects of alcohol consumption, without prejudice to religious beliefs and cultural norms in any way. The concept of “harmful use of alcohol” in this context is different from “harmful use of alcohol” as a diagnostic category in the ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders (WHO, 1992).
  • The disability-adjusted life year (DALY) extends the concept of potential years of life lost due to premature death to include equivalent years of "healthy" life lost by virtue of being in states of poor health or disability.


Source: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs349/en/



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Advice to a Drug Addict
Shaykh Yunus Patel (Raheemahullah)
Since there is glaring evidence all over of the damage that drug taking has done to people both physically and spiritually as well as the adverse and detrimental effects it has on society, I do not wish to emphasise and elaborate on its harms. However, I do request you to take heed and ponder over the following points:   


Millions to buy health

People, everywhere, are found to be spending millions in order to buy health. We have not found anyone spending money to buy ill-health. Millions are spent on health foods, proper diets, exercise equipment and the like to get good health. Not only do people exert themselves physically for good health but, they freely spend their money as well to achieve this.

Therefore, consider whether you are buying health or ill health in spending money on drugs. Be it cocaine, crack, heroin or marijuana, ill health is being purchased sometimes at an astronomical cost. Is it not foolish to spend money to buy sickness, disease and ill health? Then consider how ironic it is that the consequences of such expenditure are that you cannot think straight and you indulge in deeds or actions you would never otherwise think of doing in your right frame of mind. 


Fortunes to buy Respect

Then again, consider the many people who are spending fortunes at the doors of courts to buy their respect, which they deem they lost in the form of defamation of character. Such people will be proud and happy when judgment is given in their favour and it is found that indeed they had been defamed, their good character had been tarnished and a bad image had thus been created. Thus, when a person successfully sued for defamation of character, he is rewarded a sum of money – the value and worth of his name and character! All this trouble for what? For his respect and dignity back. If it was due to a newspaper article, then he requests a written apology as well.

People spend hundreds of thousands on lavish weddings, birthdays, engagement functions, etc. presidents spend millions of taxpayers' money on inauguration celebrations. All this for what? Name, respect and honour. So, whether justified or not, money is spent to 'buy' respect and honour. 



What does a drug addict do? He spends his money buying disrespect, distrust, shame, humiliation and disgrace. Who respects a drug addict? Who would like to give his daughter in marriage to a drug addict? How many marriages have ended and how many marriages have ended and how many relationships and friendships have been severed due to the same?


As a result of drug addiction, you are not trusted at home… your father hides his cash and your mother hides her jewellery due to the fear that their son would stoop to any level to maintain his drug addiction. Neither are you trusted in the business you work for… your employer will be weary and perpetually on guard due to the same fear. Is this a respectable life?If on the other hand you seek employment and your habit is known, ten you get a straightforward "no" as an answer. 



What of the trauma that young and innocent children have to experience and endure, having to contend with a father who has a very, very shameful habit? What of the negative effect this evil addiction has on the education and upbringing of those children? What if they follow suit – take to the same habit and lead the same miserable, unhappy life? What of the stigma that you carry for the rest of your life?... these are the returns on money squandered in supporting a thriving drug market. A friend is one who is concerned about a friend's welfare and health. An enemy desires the destruction of a person's life, health, wealth and respect. So can the 'friend' who encourages you or offers you drugs be called a friend? Nay, he is your enemy. He is encouraging you to destroy your happiness, your marriage, your family, your respect… your life. 


My advice

Whenever you buy drugs, stop. Look at it carefully. Think. Contemplate. Ponder. Reflect: 'if this goes into my system, then what? Then the consequences that follow will be harmful, injurious and detrimental to my health; that same health which is a priceless gift, blessing and bounty of Allah ta'aala and for which I will be accountable on the Day of Qiyaamah. 



What will be my reply when Allah ta'aala will say, "We granted you sound and healthy limbs… hands, feet, eyes, ears, nose, etc. What have you done to express your gratitude for all these gifts?" and what will be my reply when questioned as to how I spent the wealth given to me by Allah ta'aala. Added to this, this drug is most damaging to my respect and dignity in society. I will be denounced and condemned by society because I am another problem to them. 


Flush it away 

After having pondered in this manner, throw it into the toilet and flush it away before it flushes more of your health, wealth and respect away. Insha Allah, within a flush or two of a few drugs, a change of company and by attendance of Deeni programmes your habit will be flushed away.Finally, say to the friend who is encouraging you to take drugs: "If you are my friend, then you would not help in the destruction of my body and soul."   


Drug Myths 


Myth – Drugging is safe. False! There is no such thing as a safe drug. To abuse a chemical substance of any type is extremely dangerous. Many drug abusers mistakenly assume that they can control and regulate their intake of these substances. On the contrary, it is the drugs that control them. Drugs can turn perfectly normal human beings into immoral, anti-social people and can do serious damage to their health, happiness and relationships.  


Myth – Drugging is always a good experience False! The effects produced by drugs are unpredictable and highly variable.  


Myth – Drugging creates comradeship False! People who abuse drugs tend to have distorted values and have trouble forming meaningful relationships with people who don’t take drugs.  


Myth – Drugging relieves boredom and tension and makes problems disappear False! The false sense of euphoria produced by drugs is very relatively brief and usually ends in a feeling of anti-climax and depression. This in turn produces a craving for another 'euphoric' experience and thus begins the vicious circle of drug dependence. Once addicted, a drug abuser finds it difficult to control his intake and the substance he originally took to solve a problem becomes the worst problem of all.  


Myth – I am in control False! This is the biggest myth of all. A person who is dependent on drugs cannot cope and does not know what he is doing. He cannot stop any time he wants to.  



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This booklet is a compilation of nasihat (advice) taken from various discourses of Shaykh Yunus Patel Saheb (Raheemahullah), which has been tremendously beneficial for many sincerely wanting to ‘kick’ their bad habits of smoking, drinking, drug-taking or gambling.


The prescriptions found herein will, Insha-Allah , benefit and motivate anyone who reads with an open mind and is keen to give up the bad habits.






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Addiction and Islam – The Disease and its Cure


We live in a culture in which mass advertising glorifies excessive consumption and the near instant gratification of desires. “Having it now” unfortunately, proves to be a slippery slope for millions, and uninhibited desires prove to be like an uncontrollable fire, growing stronger each time they are fed. Some desires becomes overriding compulsions that could take years to overcome, if at all. The word addiction is often used to describe such a condition.


What exactly is addiction? The term “addiction” is used in many contexts to describe an obsession, compulsion, or excessive physical dependence or psychological dependence, such as: drug addiction, alcoholism, compulsive overeating, problem gambling, computer addiction, etc. In other words, addiction has many forms, some of them related to substances such as drugs or alcohol, while others are related to extreme psychological dependence of the individual on behaviors such as gambling, overeating, and increasingly internet surfing.


Nearly 14 million Americans meet diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorders

Estimates of the economic costs of just alcohol abuse, collected by the World Health Organization, vary from one to six per cent of a country’s GDP. Countries around the world spend hundreds of billions of dollars in combating the drug trade, rehabilitating drug addicts and in dealing with the health and social costs of the increased use of narcotics by young people and teenagers. Addiction to pornography is afflicting millions in every age group around the world, leading to decreased productivity, and an increase in crimes against women and children.


The fact that addictions of various types have grown into enormous social problems that are threatening not only individuals and families but entire societies is clear. Addictions in fact, are the scourge of the human civilization, and the urgency of making a global effort to eradicate them is more critical than ever.


Efforts So far

Countries around the world have tried hard to control if not eradicate various addictions in their societies. Although millions have freed themselves from the slavery of their base instincts, millions more continue to fall into this abyss. The number of addicted individuals, both in real terms and as a percentage of the total population, has skyrocketed in recent times.


Let us explore how Islam views the problem, and how its prescriptions and world-view might be an antidote.


Moderation – An Islamic Virtue

One of the salient features of the Islamic world-view is a balanced and moderate outlook on life and its challenges. Islam recognizes that human beings have natural desires, and prescribes ways of fulfilling these desires without allowing the desires to take control of one’s life. The Glorious Quran says:


“O Children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: Eat and drink: But waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters.” [Al-Quran 7:31]


The Islamic virtue of moderation is prescribed at both an individual and at a collective level. Islam views the natural resources of the world, and indeed human life itself, as a trust from God. Accordingly, every individual is accountable for how he or she spends these resources. Profligacy is considered a major sin in Islam.


Islam’s View of the Self

Islam’s broader approach towards human life is through the recognition of the human soul as being composed of essentially three elements:


  • Nafs al-Ammarah (soul commanding to evil or evil-inciting soul)
  • Nafs al-Lawwamah (self-reproaching soul)
  • Nafs al-Mutma’innah (tranquil, peaceful soul)


The goal of every Muslim is to be aware of the stage of his or her own soul, and to strive to reach the stage of tranquility and peace that can only come about through a disciplined life in obedience to God.


The soul commanding to evil grips the individual in a state of forgetfulness. Addiction, and indeed, all human infractions stem from such a state, where the human being is heedless of the purpose of life, heedless of the Creator, and of the Day when all human beings will be held accountable for their actions. It is this state of forgetfulness that the individual must strive to overcome, and work progressively towards a state of awareness.


The Glorious Qur’an says:

“And be ye not like those who forgot Allah, and He made them forget their own souls! Such are the rebellious transgressors!” [Al-Quran 59:19]


In overcoming addiction therefore, one is required to shun heedlessness and feel remorse for having allowed one’s soul to be controlled by one’s lower desires.


For others who, although self-aware to some extent, do succumb momentarily to the evil-inciting soul, the remembrance of the Divine and His commandments are often sufficient to restore the balance and quickly exit the state of heedlessness.


For those who, while fulfilling the necessities of human life, are firmly rooted in achieving success in the hereafter, the temptations of a transgression only serve to spur them on in their spiritual pursuits


Islam’s Prohibitions – A Great Blessing

Altaf Husain, a social worker in the US, writes in an article on ways to overcome addiction:


“No one becomes addicted intentionally; it is not a goal one sets out to accomplish. Addiction is ultimately the triumph of the soul commanding to evil over the self-reproaching soul. What begins as just one quick glance at a pornographic Web site, one sip of alcohol, one snort of cocaine, one injection of heroin, or even one session of aggressive overeating does not affect every individual the same way. For those who have a weak relationship with Allah, are on the margins of daily worship, are keeping company with similarly heedless individuals, the one glance, the one sip leads them, ultimately, down a slippery slope from which they will have, potentially, a lifelong struggle recovering.”


Islam recognizes the perils of such self-destructive behavior. While prescribing permissible ways of fulfilling certain legitimate desires, Islam clearly draws the line around certains types of behavior and strikes them at the root. Consequently, alcohol, drug consumption and gambling are strictly prohibited, even in small quantities.

The Glorious Qur’an says:

“O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (pination by) arrows, are an abomination,- of Satan’s handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper.” [Al-Quran 7:31]


In the last five decades, pornography has been the cause of many a broken home, and multitudes of destroyed lives. By enjoining men and women towards modesty, the Glorious Quran protects the dignity of the human being. The Quran says:


“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. “And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms…” [Al-Quran 24:30-31]


Islam recommends marriage for the fulfillment of natural desires and for procreation, but prohibits the depiction of any human being as merely an object of sexual gratification. Notice how the Quran elevates the status of both men and women by recognizing their nature, while also drawing their attention towards a higher purpose in life.


When one reflects on the havoc caused by alcohol and drug addiction, by compulsive gambling and by rampant pornography, one can only see the prohibitions and injunctions of Islam as great blessings to the human race. The Divine prohibitions ensure that even if one does not see the wisdom behind abstaining from these evils, one is guarded by adhering to certain norms in a spiritual frame of reference.


Prayer and Fasting – Strenghthening the Soul with Patience

While every pillar of Islam serves to strengthen the soul, the five daily prayers and the fasting during the holy month of Ramadan are especially beneficial in disciplining the soul.


The Glorious Quran says;

“Recite what is sent of the Book by inspiration to thee, and establish regular Prayer: for Prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt. And Allah knows the (deeds) that ye do.” [Al-Quran 29:45]


Fasting is universally recognized as a means of gaining self-control, and in Islam, also a means of gaining closeness to God.

“O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint,”– [Al-Quran 2:183]


Prayer and fasting are therefore like the shields of the human soul, by which it can protect itself from the onslaughts of modern temptations, and lead a healthy, balanced and productive life.



To strike at the roots of addiction, a holistic view of the human soul is essential. Islam provides both a world-view and a spiritual system that elevates the human being by empowering the soul to fulfill the Divine Mission. Besides prohibiting behaviors that might demean the human soul in any way, Islam prescribes practical ways of strengthening it.


For the soul that values the sweetness of Divine Remembrance, capitulating to the base desires represents disobedience to the Creator as well as oppression against the self. It is through recognition of the purpose of creation can the soul achieve true freedom.





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Tips for Muslim teens on drugs, alcohol and friends


How Can I Tell If a Friend or a Loved One Has a Problem With Alcohol, Marijuana, or Other Illicit Drugs?


Sometimes it is tough to tell. Most people won't walk up to someone they're close to and ask for help. In fact, they will probably do everything possible to deny or hide the problem. But, there are certain warning signs that may indicate that a family member or friend is using drugs and drinking alcohol.

If your friend or loved one has one or more of the following signs, he or she may have a problem with drugs or alcohol:


  • getting high on drugs. drinking, getting drunk on a regular basis
  • lying about things, or the drugs or alcohol they are using
  • avoiding you and others in order to get high, drinking or drunk
  • giving up activities they used to do such as sports, homework, or hanging out with friends who don't use drugs or drink
  • having to use more marijuana or other illicit drugs to get the same effects
  • constantly talking about using drugs or drinking
  • believing that in order to have fun they need to drink or use marijuana or other drugs
  • pressuring others to use drugs or drink
  • getting into trouble with the law
  • taking risks, including sexual risks and driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
  • feeling run-down, hopeless, depressed, or even suicidal
  • suspension from school for an alcohol- or drug-related incident
  • missing work or poor work performance because of drinking or drug use


Many of the signs, such as sudden changes in mood, difficulty in getting along with others, poor job or school performance, irritability, and depression, might be explained by other causes.

Unless you observe drug use or drinking, it can be hard to determine the cause of these problems. Your first step is to contact a qualified Muslim counselor, Imam or alcohol and drug professional in your area who can give you further advice.


How Can I Tell if I Have a Problem with Drugs or Alcohol?

Drug and alcohol problems can affect every one of us regardless of age, sex, race, marital status, place of residence, income level, or lifestyle.

You may have a problem with drugs or alcohol, if:

  • You can't predict whether or not you will use drugs or get drunk.
  • You believe that in order to have fun you need to drink and/or use drugs.
  • You turn to alcohol and/or drugs after a confrontation or argument, or to relieve uncomfortable feelings.
  • You drink more or use more drugs to get the same effect that you got with smaller amounts.
  • You drink and/or use drugs alone.
  • You remember how last night began, but not how it ended, so you're worried you may have a problem.
  • You have trouble at work or in school because of your drinking or drug use.
  • You make promises to yourself or others that you'll stop getting drunk or using drugs.
  • You feel alone, scared, miserable, and depressed.


If you have experienced any of the above problems, take heart, help is available.


How Can I Get Help?

You can get help for yourself or for a friend or loved one from a Muslim counselor, Imam, friend or family member. For additional help, you can check out national, State, and local organizations, treatment centers, referral centers, and hotlines throughout the country.

There are various kinds of treatment services and centers. For example, some may involve outpatient counseling, while others may be 3- to 5-week-long inpatient programs.

While you or your friend or loved one may be hesitant to seek help, know that treatment programs offer organized and structured services with individual, group, and family therapy for people with alcohol and drug abuse problems.

Research shows that when appropriate treatment is given, and when clients follow their prescribed program, treatment can work. By reducing alcohol and/or drug abuse, treatment reduces costs to society in terms of medical care, law enforcement, and crime. More importantly, treatment can help keep you and your loved ones together.

Remember, some people may go through treatment a number of times before they are in full recovery. Do not give up hope


About Marijuana

Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in the United States and tends to be the first illegal drug teens use.

The physical effects of marijuana use, particularly on developing adolescents, can be acute.
Short-term effects of using marijuana:

  • sleepiness
  • difficulty keeping track of time, impaired or reduced short-term memory
  • reduced ability to perform tasks requiring concentration and coordination, such as driving a car
  • increased heart rate
  • potential cardiac dangers for those with preexisting heart disease
  • bloodshot eyes
  • dry mouth and throat
  • decreased social inhibitions
  • paranoia, hallucinations

Long-term effects of using marijuana:

  • enhanced cancer risk
  • decrease in testosterone levels for men; also lower sperm counts and difficulty having children
  • increase in testosterone levels for women; also increased risk of infertility
  • diminished or extinguished sexual pleasure
  • psychological dependence requiring more of the drug to get the same effect

Marijuana blocks the messages going to your brain and alters your perceptions and emotions, vision, hearing, and coordination.

A recent study of 1,023 trauma patients admitted to a shock trauma unit found that one-third had marijuana in their blood.


About Cigarette Smoking

Although many people smoke because they believe cigarettes calm their nerves, smoking releases epinephrine, a hormone which creates physiological stress in the smoker, rather than relaxation.

The use of tobacco is addictive. Most users develop tolerance for nicotine and need greater amounts to produce a desired effect.

Smokers become physically and psychologically dependent and will suffer withdrawal symptoms including: changes in body temperature, heart rate, digestion, muscle tone, and appetite.

Psychological symptoms include: irritability, anxiety, sleep disturbances, nervousness, headaches, fatigue, nausea, and cravings for tobacco that can last days, weeks, months, years, or an entire lifetime.

Risks associated with smoking cigarettes:

  • diminished or extinguished sense of smell and taste
  • frequent colds
  • smoker's cough
  • gastric ulcers
  • chronic bronchitis
  • increase in heart rate and blood pressure
  • premature and more abundant face wrinkles
  • emphysema
  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • cancer of the mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, lungs, pancreas, cervix, uterus, and bladder

Cigarette smoking is perhaps the most devastating preventable cause of disease and premature death.

Smoking is particularly dangerous for teens because their bodies are still developing and changing and the 4,000 chemicals (including 200 known poisons) in cigarette smoke can adversely affect this process.

Cigarettes are highly addictive. One-third of young people who are just "experimenting" end up being addicted by the time they are 20.


About Alcohol

Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that results in health consequences, social, problems, or both.

However, alcohol dependence, or alcoholism, refers to a disease that is characterized by abnormal alcohol-seeking behavior that leads to impaired control over drinking.

Short-term effects of alcohol use include:

  • distorted vision, hearing, and coordination
  • altered perceptions and emotions
  • impaired judgment
  • bad breath; hangovers

Long-term effects of heavy alcohol use include:

  • loss of appetite
  • vitamin deficiencies
  • stomach ailments
  • skin problems
  • sexual impotence
  • liver damage
  • heart and central nervous system damage
  • memory loss


How Do I Know If I, or Someone Close, Has a Drinking Problem?

Here are some quick clues:

  • Inability to control drinking--it seems that regardless of what you decide beforehand, you frequently wind up drunk

  • Using alcohol to escape problems

  • A change in personality--turning from Dr. Jekyl to Mr. Hyde

  • A high tolerance level-being able to consume much more alcohol than everyone else

  • Blackouts--sometimes not remembering what happened while drinking

  • Problems at work or in school as a result of drinking

  • Concern shown by family and friends about drinking

If you have a drinking problem, or if you suspect you have a drinking problem, there are many others out there like you, and there is help available. Talk to school a parent or a trusted Muslim counselor, Imam or friend.


About Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug chemically related to amphetamine but with stronger effects on the central nervous system. Street names for the drug include "speed," "meth," and "crank."

Methamphetamine is used in pill form, or in powdered form by snorting or injecting. Crystallized methamphetamine known as "ice," "crystal," or "glass," is a smokable and more powerful form of the drug.

The effects of methamphetamine use include:

  • increased heart rate and blood pressure

  • increased wakefulness; insomnia

  • increased physical activity

  • decreased appetite

  • respiratory problems

  • extreme anorexia

  • hyperthermia, convulsions, and cardiovascular problems, which can lead to death

  • euphoria

  • irritability, confusion, tremors

  • anxiety, paranoia, or violent behavior

  • can cause irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain, producing strokes

Methamphetamine users who inject the drug and share needles are at risk for acquiring HIV/AIDS.

Methamphetamine is an increasingly popular drug at raves (all night dancing parties), and as part of a number of drugs used by college-aged students.

Marijuana and alcohol are commonly listed as additional drugs of abuse among methamphetamine treatment admissions.

Most of the methamphetamine-related deaths (92%) reported in 1994 involved methamphetamine in combination with at least one other drug, most often alcohol (30%), heroin (23%), or cocaine (21%). Researchers continue to study the long-term effects of methamphetamine use.


About Cocaine and Crack Cocaine

Cocaine is a white powder that comes from the leaves of the South American coca plant. Cocaine is either "snorted" through the nasal passages or injected intravenously.


Cocaine belongs to a class of drugs known as stimulants, which tend to give a temporary illusion of limitless power and energy that leave the user feeling depressed, edgy, and craving more.


Crack is a smokable form of cocaine that has been chemically altered.

Cocaine and crack are highly addictive. This addiction can erode physical and mental health and can become so strong that these drugs dominate all aspects of an addict's life.

Physical risks associated with using cocaine and crack:

  • increases in blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and body temperature
  • heart attacks, strokes, and respiratory failure
  • hepatitis or AIDS through shared needles
  • brain seizures
  • reduction of the body's ability to resist and combat infection

Psychological risks:

  • violent, erratic, or paranoid behavior
  • hallucinations and "coke bugs"--a sensation of imaginary insects crawling over the skin
  • confusion, anxiety and depression, loss of interest in food or sex
  • "cocaine psychosis"--losing touch with reality, loss of interest in friends, family, sports, hobbies, and other activities

Some users spend hundred or thousands of dollars on cocaine and crack each week and will do anything to support their habit.

Many turn to drug selling, prostitution, or other crimes.

Cocaine and crack use has been a contributing factor in a number of drownings, car crashes, falls, burns, and suicides.

Cocaine and crack addicts often become unable to function sexually.

Even first time users may experience seizures or heart attacks, which can be fatal.


About Hallucinogens

Hallucinogenic drugs are substances that distort the perception of objective reality.

The most well-known hallucinogens include phencyclidine, otherwise known as PCP, angel dust, or loveboat; lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly known as LSD or acid; mescaline and peyote; and psilocybin, or "magic" mushrooms.

Under the influence of hallucinogens, the senses of direction, distance, and time become disoriented.

These drugs can produce unpredictable, erratic, and violent behavior in users that sometimes leads to serious injuries and death. The effect of hallucinogens can last for 12 hours.

LSD produces tolerance, so that users who take the drug repeatedly must take higher and higher doses in order to achieve the same state of intoxication.

This is extremely dangerous, given the unpredictability of the drug, and can result in increased risk of convulsions, coma, heart and lung failure, and even death.

Physical risks associated with using hallucinogens:

  • increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • sleeplessness and tremors
  • lack of muscular coordination
  • sparse, mangled, and incoherent speech
  • decreased awareness of touch and pain that can result in self-inflicted injuries
  • convulsions
  • coma; heart and lung failure

Psychological risks associated with using hallucinogens:

  • a sense of distance and estrangement
  • depression, anxiety, and paranoia
  • violent behavior
  • confusion, suspicion, and loss of control
  • flashbacks
  • behavior similar to schizophrenic psychosis
  • catatonic syndrome whereby the user becomes mute, lethargic, disoriented, and makes meaningless repetitive movements

Everyone reacts differently to hallucinogens--there's no way to predict if you can avoid a "bad trip."


About Inhalants

Inhalants refer to substances that are sniffed or huffed to give the user an immediate head rush or high.

They include a diverse group of chemicals that are found in consumer products such as aerosols and cleaning solvents. Inhalant use can cause a number of physical and emotional problems, and even one-time use can result in death.

Using inhalants even one time can put you at risk for:

  • sudden death
  • suffocation
  • visual hallucinations and severe mood swings
  • numbness and tingling of the hands and feet

Prolonged use can result in:

  • headache, muscle weakness, abdominal pain
  • decrease or loss of sense of smell
  • nausea and nosebleeds
  • hepatitis
  • violent behaviors
  • irregular heartbeat
  • liver, lung, and kidney impairment
  • irreversible brain damage
  • nervous system damage
  • dangerous chemical imbalances in the body
  • involuntary passing of urine and feces

Short-term effects of inhalants include:

  • heart palpitations
  • breathing difficulty
  • dizziness
  • headaches


Remember, using inhalants, even one time, can kill you. According to medical experts, death can occur in at least five ways:

  1. asphyxia--solvent gases can significantly limit available oxygen in the air, causing breathing to stop;
  2. suffocation--typically seen with inhalant users who use bags;
  3. choking on vomit;
  4. careless behaviors in potentially dangerous settings; and
  5. sudden sniffing death syndrome, presumably from cardiac arrest.


Messages for Teenagers

  • Know the law. All of the above-mentioned and many other substances are forbidden by Islam. They are also illegal in the United States. Apart from the fact that you are accountable to Allah for what you do and could very well be punished in this life and the next for using drugs and alcohol, you could also face legal penalties according to United States law: depending on where you are caught, you could face high fines and jail time.
  • Be aware of the risks. Drinking or using drugs increases the risk of injury. Car crashes, falls, burns, drowning, and suicide are all linked to drug use.
  • Keep your edge. Drug use can ruin your looks, make you depressed, and contribute to slipping grades.
  • Play it safe. One incident of drug use could make you do something that you will regret for a lifetime.
  • Do the smart thing. Using drugs puts your health, education, family ties, and social life at risk.
  • Get with the program. Doing drugs isn't "in".
  • Think twice about what you're advertising when you buy and wear T-shirts, hats, pins, or jewelry with a pot leaf, joint, blunt, beer can, or other drug paraphernalia on them. Do you want to promote something that can cause cancer? make you forget things? or make it difficult to drive a car?
  • Face your problems. Using drugs won't help you escape your problems, it will only create more.
  • Be a real friend. If you know someone with a drug problem, be part of the solution. Urge your friend to get help.
  • Remember, you DON'T NEED drugs or alcohol. If you think "everybody's doing it," you're wrong! Over 86% of 12-17 year-olds have never tried marijuana; over 98% have never used cocaine; only about half a percent of them have ever used crack. Doing drugs won't make you happy or popular or help you to learn the skills you need as you grow up. In fact, doing drugs can cause you to fail at all of these things.




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