Story of a Drug Abuser

Greater Kashmir

Life is beautiful and its beauty should be enjoyed

Following is an inspirational story shared by a former drug abuser, I have just changed places, names and some events  to maintain confidentiality.
I was eighteen years when my father died in a violent accident, I was the favourite of my parents. I could not bear this separation, some of my so called friends encouraged me to smoke nicotine cigarettes, saying I will sleep well and all my worries will go off. For 16 months I liked its taste, it sounded good. But few bad things started to happen, my mother could not believe that my father who hated smokers, his son was a chain smoker. My girl friend also disliked me saying that I smelled awful. I also developed weakness specially of my sexual organ, I was diagnosed with E/D by a local doctor, latter I learnt E/D meant erectile dysfunction and it was result of my smoking. When doctor asked me to give up smoking I laughed at him believing that nothing can happen to me. Time really flies and suddenly I realized smoking didn’t help me to relieve my stress and forget my problems. Once I was as usual returning late thinking what should I do to get out of this mess, I had run out of my cigarettes and to my utter disgust shops were closed, from a distance I saw few men smoking, I requested for a cigarette with 50 Rs in my hand, but a man among them who was not smoking gave me a cigarette, patted on my back and said “Its FREE and will relieve me of all my problems”. I puffed and nearly fainted, its taste was so strong, but they encouraged me to smoke, I remained with them. In the heart of my hearts my soul was telling me I had now committed a bigger sin by smoking cannabis…..
Somehow I preferred not to listen to my inner voice and returned to the place I visited after few days, this time I was surprised as it was not free, but then my mother, brother, sisters used to give me money but not their time. It hardly mattered as I was lost in my own world. Cannabis made me more weak, I was a handsome boy but now I looked like a skeleton. I started to quarrel with my family daily, picked fights with everyone, anger bursts, throwing utensils became a routine. Soon my family realized I was into drugs, I was scolded and told I will not be given any money. But publicly when my neighbours, relatives enquired about me, my family fought against them, saying to them, “you were blaming our kid for nothing”. Latter I realized they were in denial. They also visited some fake faith healers, who told them to do strange things, saying my relatives were jealous of me and I was under influence of some black magic, but nothing changed. The only thing that changed was that I not only was using cannabis with increasing frequency, but I added alcohol, sedatives and cough syrups to my drug pack. In the mean time my friends stopped talking to me, they were told by their parents to stay away from me. From a person who used to be most wanted. liked by all, be it neighbours, friends, relatives and my girl friend, I became a person most unwanted. My relatives used to visit my home on regular basis, but now my home gave a deserted look, relatives laughed at me, made mockery of me, my family. If, due to social compulsions my family was invited on marriages, they were told not to bring me along. At home I was kept away from taking part in important decisions, my presence did not matter to them also. I had lost all my appetite, drugs were my food. Even children of my locality used to say; here comes the drunkard, let us move away. I, like other drug abusers, also tried to get rid of drugs on my own, but every time I stopped taking drugs I had severe pain, palpitations, sweating, drowsiness, disorientation.

POSITIVE INTERVENTION:
One day after sleeping, I asked my cook to give me some food, saying today, after a day’s sleep, strangely I feel very hungry. To my surprise he told me, “you were sleeping for 3 days not one. ”. It was like a rude reminder to me, I began to rewind my life. From an asset to my family, friends, neighbors I had became a liability. I asked my family members to take me to the concerned doctor, he explained to me some phases of drug de-addiction, like the withdrawal phase, detoxification and maintenance. To my utter delight, this time after stopping drugs I had no painful experiences. After some time my interest in my religion and meditation was rekindled by a counselor. I was also given a drug which I was told will stop my craving for drugs, it was so good that thoughts of taking dirty drugs rarely hit my mind. I was taught anxiety relieving mechanism, so that drugs never controlled my body again. After nearly 40 days, I thought I had a rebirth. I was consolidating my faith in a drug free life, and I saw changes in my life. My family, relatives accepted me back, I won their faith slowly, I was astonished to see family members or relatives who did not trust me with 1 rupees coin, gave me thousands to make purchases for my home, functions, marriages. I resumed my studies with more determination. I became a pass out from a professional college. Although due to high rate of unemployment I faced problems in getting a job, but soon I found an excellent job. Now I am living a happy life.
I have only one message for people abusing drugs, if Sanjay Dhatt, Andrew Aggasi, and millions  others can live a drug free life, why can’ you.
The  author is a mental health counselor.
arifmaghribi@yahoo.com