It is alarming news indeed that drinks that are in the market and sold in the name of Energy Drinks were found to have been laced with harmful drugs. More alarming is that many such addictive drinks that are being advertised openly on TV channels are manufactured in Bangladesh by some local corporate houses!
And they have been deceiving the unsuspecting consumers by not mentioning the presence of the harmful chemicals in their products. The pertinent question that comes to mind is, how come it took so many years for BSTI or other inspecting agencies to detect harmful drugs in these so-called energy drinks?
Come to think of it that after a million bottles have been sold already and consumed by the young people of the country, the relevant authorities suddenly woke up and discovered the evil activities! We suspect that everybody has been “managed” by the manufacturers for all these years otherwise it is impossible to market harmful drug-stained energy drinks under the nose of the government inspectors. The disturbed citizenry demands an explanation from the inspecting authorities why they failed to d
etect foul play right from day one? A small test in a good labora
tory would have revealed the secret ingredients in the so-called energy drinks.
It is surprising that when the government is showing zero tolerance to selling and consumption of drugs in any form, big manufacturers are getting away by openly marketing and advertising drug-laced drinks.
Drugs and drug-made products are finding their way into Bangladesh quite effortlessly, as a large section of people are involved in the trading of these contraband items. There is cash money in drug business so poor people are getting enticed to join in despite risks on their lives.
The cost of fighting the drug war is huge in all sense of the term. A large portion of state fund gets diverted to purchasing arms and ammunition, train and deploy intelligence gatherers, train and equip officials to go after drug lords and their couriers. It, therefore, is a big burden on a developing country like Bangladesh.
We may consider drugs proliferation in the country as a ploy by anti-Bangladesh elements ready to destroy the youths of today. As a result, the ongoing operation to arrest the kingpins and their local operatives is yielding desired results. Unfortunately, instead of surrendering to the law enforcers, many of the drug dealers, especially in the border areas, are also opting to use weapons on the latter. Since the law enforcers are better trained in using firearms, they hardly miss targets when gunfight ensues in the dens of the criminals. This is resulting in the deaths of some hardened drug dealers and peddlers.
Drugs like yaba, phensydil and heroin are taking a serious toll on the physical and mental health of the youngsters of the country. Bright career of many young boys and girls has been totally destroyed by these drugs. Facing little social resistance, drugs of all kinds have reached the farthest corners of the country. Surprisingly, in many rural and semi-urban areas drugs of various kinds are sold and consumed out in
the open.
Parents can hardly understand whether their children are on drugs. They come to know only when it is too late. The case of the murder of the senior police officer and his wife in the hands of their own daughter named Oishy is a case in point here. News reports of addicted sons hacking parents to death for not getting money to buy drugs abound in media. Cases of husbands beating, hacking and leaving wives and children also appear in newspaper quite frequently.
It may be mentioned that casual observers often see suspicious looking men on motorbikes waiting near high schools, colleges and universities. Policemen in civil dress should keep constant vigil in such areas so they can nab drug peddlers who target students from affluent families.
No doubt the future of our young generation will turn bleak if drugs cannot be made history following the ongoing mission. The saner section of society welcomes the government decision to ban so-called Energy Drinks, no matter how powerful the owners are.
We must rid society of drugs and drug dealers including the godfathers. The mission must go on until the evil networks are totally destroyed.

The writer is Advisory Editor, Bangladesh Post