Most if not all of us know someone who has taken drugs at least once in their life or we may have even taken them ourselves. Unfortunately it’s a common problem and many youngsters in school are falling into it. Most commonly the first drug people try is marijuana also known as cannabis or “weed”.
In some schools and colleges cannabis is so common it’s no different to smoking tobacco. The common use of a drug can lead people into a false sense of security, thinking that it can’t be that harmful if so many people do it. However, we hardly hear of the harmful effects of drugs. The addiction is a bitter reality that engulfs the individual in their personal struggle, amplifying the harm to society too.
I once taught a college student who used to sell drugs as well as take them himself; thinking there’s no real harm. In the short term the harm can be limited to damaging their health whilst wasting their money. However, in the long term the repercussions could be harsher. They could develop a dependency, turning to crime to pay for their habit; they could lose work and family, fall into depression and in some instances even face death. The damage is not limited to a personal level, but ripples out to society. They could harm those close to them and their community. It can result in broken homes which would affect children adversely, consequently leaving a scar on the future generation. The last time I spoke to my student he said he’d stopped dealing and taking drugs but is awaiting his court date regarding whether or not he will be sent to prison. The ripples of his earlier decisions continue.
By the Mercy of Allah (swt) He has given us guidance more precious than we can ever understand to save us from destruction:
Knowledge and the desire to follow this verse saved me at university when people around me were experimenting with intoxicants. Whilst at university I knew someone who initially was smoking cannabis and one day came back to the flat with marijuana laced with heroin! Once you start disobeying Allah (swt) in one area and think it’s not so bad, it can soon lead to the next step, then the next and before you know it Allah (swt), Islam, doing good and purifying oneself are the last things on your mind. It reminds me of the verse:
Sadly there are Muslims who take intoxicants despite the clear prohibitions in the Holy Quran. I recently heard from a friend about a Muslim couple who divorced because the wife found out after marriage that her husband was a drug addict.
People may say they take drugs as a “short-term fix” to problems, however drugs never fix problems. They only increase them. Only putting energies into fixing them can fix them. Drugs may temporarily make you forget about your problems, however, once the effects wear off the problems remain yet the person is left too low and drained of energy to do anything about them.
Intoxicants shouldn’t be taken for any reason. As well as the harm they pose, they are also haram (forbidden). Out of Allah’s (swt) Compassion and Wisdom He has made harmful things haram (forbidden) for our protection. Don’t think you’ll just test drugs out and stop later on, or other people have taken them and seem ok, because they’re harmful to your body, mind and soul. Don’t despair of the mercy of Allah (swt), make efforts to rid yourself of the habit and if you know anyone close with the habit don’t join them but don’t abandon them either and guide them to help. May we strive to follow the merciful guidance of Allah (swt) to save ourselves, families, friends and society.
For more information on the types and harmful effects of drugs see the NHS website. 
If you are taking or know someone who is taking drugs, please access the help available on the drug treatment services section of the NHS website  and the talktofrank website. 
Written By Saqib Hussain