John, who is actively involved in spreading awareness about social issues in India, said that people need to realise that films are fictional and not real, and realise where to draw the line when it comes to imbibing some facts.
Extending support to a campaign by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime South Asia (UNODC), John spoke at length on his thoughts about human trafficking and drug abuse.
"Films reflect life and vice versa, and they are an important medium to engage with those who abuse drugs. If you look at my films, ‘Force' for instance, they carry a strong message against drug use,’’ he said.
"It is also due to films that so many youngsters now are becoming conscious of their health and bodies, and doing all sorts of activities to stay in shape," John said in a feature for UNODC South Asia's "Conversations" series.
While he thinks that's a positive example of how films can bring about a change, he pointed to how "unfortunately, some of our films also show the 'other side' to reflect reality, but instead end up glorifying and legitimising substance abuse".
"People should realise that movies are fictional and not real. The only thing real is your health and happiness," added John, who has worked in films like "Water" and "No-Smoking".
The 44-year-old highlighted that anyone who uses drugs not only affects his/her own self, but also the family and the community.
"I am concerned with the rampant drug use in our society today. It pains me to see youth and even children resorting to drugs and putting themselves at risk. I think whatever ups and downs come in life, one must have self-control and not harm themselves. Anyone who uses drugs not only affects his/her own self, but also the family and the community," he said.
John's comment comes amidst the ongoing probe into a Hyderabad drug racket, in which a string of Telugu film celebrities like actress Mumaith Khan and actors Tarun, Navdeep and Subbaraju have been quizzed over the past two weeks. On Monday, actor Tanish Alladi was questioned by the Special Investigation Team (SIT), which has so far questioned top actors like Ravi Teja, Charmme Kaur and leading director Puri Jagannadh.
"To me, good health and staying fit is the greatest way people can help themselves. I am addicted to exercise, be it running, cycling, working out, or playing a sport. It's a simple mantra: Exercise your way to health and happiness. Stay away from drugs," he added.
On combating drug abuse, John suggested that the focus should be on understanding and listening first.
"Extend a patient ear to the users, especially children and the youth, to help them help themselves and say no to drugs. That is the first step to address the problem... I know one can never quit drugs till it does not come from within," he said.