Nonviolent crimes are extremely common in our society. If we look at what a non-violent crime is, we can see that it is a crime that does not involve the use of force or the infliction of bodily harm on another person. This comprises a wide range of crimes such as white-collar crimes, professional crimes, occupational crimes, drug addiction, alcohol-related crimes, embezzlement, black marketing, gambling, bribery, various traffic infractions, and so on. And laws are enacted to put a stop to these crimes. However, it is more important to determine the cause of those crimes to eradicate them from society. They have an impact on the entire society, and the motives for these crimes have also existed in society. However, society has a significant role in the committing of these crimes, if not fully, then partially. In this article, we will look at the social aspects and legal framework surrounding nonviolent offenses such as drug use and addiction, alcoholism, and inebriation.
Drug use and Addiction
- Reasons behind drug use: Drug use and addiction are commonly used interchangeably, but there is a distinction: drug usage indicates that a person takes drugs for pleasure for one or two days a week, whereas drug addiction means that a person can’t stop taking drugs even if he/she wants to. Drug use and addiction are viewed as personal flaws, but they are not. Addiction is a mental illness that requires the same treatment as any other chronic health condition. However, the motive for taking drugs varies from person to person, but some common causes include getting rid of something unpleasant or running away from a situation, escape reality, emotional breakdown, curiosity and experimentation, abuse and trauma, career pressure, school pressure, family demands, social pressure, to enhance performance and to fit in a group circle that is already addicted to it, and many more reasons.
- Public’s perception of drug users and its impact on society: People, in general, have a negative attitude toward those who have drug problems, and it is difficult for a drug user to obtain insurance, housing, or a job simply because of the mentality of people. People sometimes did not even have their child married to those who had some sort of relationship with drug addicts. It is quite difficult for a drug user to live a simple or comfortable life if people have a negative attitude toward him. This mindset not only impacts society’s attitude toward the drug user but also affects society’s behavior toward his family. Sometimes, the family or relatives of drug users exacerbate the problem that their children are victims of this addiction since it causes them embarrassment that their child is weak after all, he is a drug addict. The status of drug users will not be revealed until the matter has gotten out of hand. Society’s attitude is vital here because, rather than passing judgment, they must express sympathy and attempt to assist family members and drug addicts to recover from the situation. Not only that, but at the time of a simple living, the society does not even allow them to live a peaceful life by not providing enough resources to satisfy them, such as not giving them employment if there is a history of the drug, and they even live the family of drug addicts isolated because there is a perception that a drug addict is a weak person, which affects their children. And to satisfy their demand, they must pick another path, which at some point will breach certain rules or commitments, and society would designate them as criminals. Because of the economic consequences of drug addiction, there should be drug treatment clinics, hospitals, jails, and other facilities. Drug addiction places a financial strain on families. In many circumstances, the addict or abuser begins to deplete financial resources to fulfill drug urges. Other financial issues develop as a result of job loss due to drug use. Even in the case of treatment from rehabilitation centers, a lot of finance is drained. Not only that, but it may also be a hindrance to a country’s development because, most of the time, the youth generation is addicted, and if the youth generation does not work, how can the country develop.
- Existing long-term strategies for addressing the drug problem: As stated in its constitution (Article 47) and as a signatory to the United Nations’ International Conventions, India bears the responsibility and pressure to abolish the use of such illegal drugs, implement measures to reduce drug use and check the availability of treatment for those suffering from narcosis. In India, the three-pronged strategy of supply, demand, and damage reduction has been applied. Following the Substances, India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to look into the country’s narcotics and liquor abuse problems. The Committee’s report was presented in 1977, and after approval from the Planning Commission, the Drug De-addiction Program (DDAP) was launched in 1985-1986. The Government established the National Committee on Drug Addiction in 1976 to investigate the extent and spread of drug adaptation, the primary source of drive for its use, many forms of misused substances, and appropriate proposals for countering the same to rally the administrative and drug control agencies to combat this scourge. In 1985, a narcotics central board was also established. was passed in India in 1985 and has been revised three times, the most recent in 2014. The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985, as amended in 1988 as the Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988 emphasizes the prevention of drug abuse by recognizing a wide range of dangerous drugs and prohibiting the supply and distribution of prohibited drugs, which could be extended to a maximum of 20 years, as well as a fine.
Alcoholism and drunkenness
- Reasons behind alcohol consumption: Alcoholism is a stage in which a person is unable to resist the consumption of alcohol, or we can say that the person is unable to manage his drinking habits. Drunkenness is the result of alcoholism, which alters a person’s normal thinking ability and causes the person to be unable to make rational actions and conduct. Alcoholism and drunkenness are perceived as personal flaws, but this is not the case; it is a mental illness that requires the same treatment as any other chronic health problem. However, the reason for taking them varies from person to person, but here are some examples: some people start drinking alcohol because they have a sleeping disorder, and they have a common belief that if they drink alcohol, they will forget everything and it will calm their nerves, allowing them to sleep properly. The same thing can happen in a person’s neighborhood or company, and the most typical reason is a drink to relieve their anxieties because alcohol helps to calm their nerves. If we move on to societal reasons, then if you are in high society, it is necessary to drink to maintain their status because if they don’t drink, what society thinks about them makes them addicted and finally, young children go for alcohol to become cool and they believe they are just doing it for pleasure.
- Public perception of alcoholism and its impact on the society: Alcoholism and intoxication have a significant influence not just on a person, but also on family, friends, and, ultimately, on society as a whole. Alcohol misuse contributes to marital violence, financial problems, poor decision-making, and child neglect and abuse. Because a broken family and child neglect play a major role in becoming a deviant, the same thing is occurring because if a family is broken or a kid experiences violence regularly, it becomes a common thing or a very normal process for him/her and they will do the same. Not only that, but if a child witnesses the conflict between her/his mother and father over financial issues, and his father tries his hardest to get money in whatever way he can, it becomes an inspiration for that child that you have to achieve the goal, and the means to achieve that goal that society has set doesn’t matter. Children who grow up in families where alcohol misuse is prevalent are more prone to acquire alcohol use disorders. Growing up in a home where at least one parent has a major alcohol use disorder raises a child’s chances of developing psychological and emotional problems. Alcohol’s consequences on family life may involve substantial mental health concerns for other family members and friends, such as anxiety, fear, and melancholy. Heavy drinking diminishes productivity, worsens personal difficulties, and causes car accidents. Alcohol has an affects on the lungs and increases the number of death.
- Laws regarding alcohol consumption: In India, the legal drinking ages, as well as the restrictions controlling the sale and usage of alcohol, vary greatly from state to state. Some of the states in which legal age of drinking is 18 are: Section 24 Excise Rule 14 of Thehttps://www.andaman.gov.in/ Andaman and Nicobar Islands Excise Regulation, 2012, Section 58 of The Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition and Control Bill 2014, Section 45 of The Pondicherry Excise Act, 1970, Section 22 of The Rajasthan Excise Act 1950 etc. Some of the states in which legal age of liquor is more than 18 years are: Section 42 The Arunachal Pradesh Excise Act, 1993, Section 24 of The Dadra and Nagar Haveli Excise Regulation, 2012, Section 23 of The Madhya Pradesh Excise Act, 1915, Section 51 of The Bengal Excise Act 1909, Section 23 of Delhi Liquor License Rules, 1976, Section 29 of Punjab Excise Act,1914 etc. All of the other Indian states permit alcohol usage, however, the legal drinking age varies by region. The legal drinking age in many states varies based on the type of alcoholic beverage.
Following a comprehensive study of this work, it can be inferred that drug addicts and alcoholics are viewed as weak individuals, and society’s attitude toward them is unfavorable. Many ideas have been applied to the subject, which explains society’s perspective as well as its influence on society. And if in rational thought, our country has taken constructive and legal steps to address its drug-related problems and alcohol.
Author(s) Name: Jyoti Dahiya (National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam)