Drugs addiction is becoming a major problem in Sikkim. State known for world class athletes like Baichung Bhutia and Tarundeep Rai, is now getting recognized for high percentage of drug users.
Bikash’s (name changed to maintain anonymity) story is nothing less than a Bollywood masala script. A smart kid equally good in sports and studies found himself gripped in drug addiction. He went to detoxification centre and came back with a new hope. But soon hope turned into delusion and for Bikash drugs again became his breakfast, lunch and dinner. Parent’s blind love and faith, bad company of friends and urge to become cool and different all led Bikash to the path of fatality.
Not among the toppers but he was a bright student and always excelled in sports. He enjoyed a good company of friends in Daffodils where he studied till class eight. But the turnaround came when he changed his school. In his new school he made new friends and with that got new hobbies. Clearly, studies and sports were not part of it.
“My old friends were very good. But in new school I met friends who offered me grass (Marijuana). From grass I moved to alcohol and then started taking pills. Initially I used to have it for fun and had 1 pile (1 pile = 8 pills) a day. But when I came to college it all became my addiction and from 1 pile it became 3-4 piles a day”.
It is an irony that his very own brother who himself was a drug abuser offered him pills on many occasions. “My brother, instead of advising me not to take, encouraged me by offering it” feels Bikash.
In college days when money became the problem Bikash sold house hold things like cylinders and DVD players. “I sold 8 mobiles till now. This one is my 9th mobile”, he says showing his fancy touch screen Samsung model. This was the time when Bikash’s parent got to know about his addiction. They were appalled with their younger son following the footsteps of elder. They counselled him but all went to deaf ears.
“I was always able to manipulate my parents. Both of them are very innocent and especially my mother. My emotional threats always helped me in getting money. My mother is my ATM” giggles Bikash.
It was in the second year of college that Bikash reached to a chronic stage. He recalls that “That was very painful stage for any drug addict. You need more pills but at the same time those pills don’t affect you. So you go for more. It’s a vicious circle”.
Seeing him dying in front of their eyes his parents decided to send him to rehabilitation centre. They took him to “Nimtar Rehabilitation and Detoxification Centre” at 32 number. “My father and brother told me that they are taking me too seek blessings of a Saint who has come at a nearby place. They deceived me and took me to a rehab centre”.
At Rehabiltiotn centre Bikash stayed for 144 days. He went under complete rehab therapy and followed a tough scheduled. Yoga, meditation, counselling sessions, inventory where one discusses about what kind thoughts came to one’s mind etc. helped him to recover from the addiction.
After spending 5 months in rehab centre Bikas was discharged. Everybody thought that he will not take banned substances again. But there was something else that was going in his mind.
“Very next day I went to Chemist shop and bought 1 pile of tablets and had all of them. This was my revenge as my parents deceived me. I was angry that they lied to me and took me to rehab centre”.
But one thing Bikash did admit that he felt extremely guilty after having those pills. But anger of betrayal was more intense than concern for his parents or for himself.
His parents thought that after medication he has changed and again trusted him. He took admission in a computer centre. In the name buying books, clothes he kept on getting money and from that he kept on buying pills.
The damage to the body was more severe than last time. In a few days he again reached to a rock bottom stage, a chronic state of a drug addict, and started getting black out in frequent intervals.
This time he voluntarily called Sudeep Dixit, his counsellor at Nimtar Rehab centre. But this time treatment was more hard and required a lot more will power.
After completing 45 days of treatment Bikash ran away from the centre. He sold his silver locket and went straight to Siliguri. There he bought pills and came back to home. He told “Second time it was far more difficult. I was restless and needed substances badly. I couldn’t control it and so ran away”. But his parents were equally adamant this time. They send him back to rehab but he couldn’t stay there for long time and came back.
Bikash promised his counsellors and parents that he won’t take medicines and is more committed this time. But the fact is Bikash still haven’t recovered completely and often consume pills. From where he gets it is something he denied to share.
In a conversation with isikkim.com Bikash said that now he is not an addict. “I only take it sometime and that too when I get it from someone else. After coming from Rehab I haven’t bought it on my own”.
On his future plans he said that he is planning to go to Australia and will find some work there. But will he be able to come out completely from drug addiction, even he is not sure.
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April 19, 2011 at 9:41 am
I feel sorry for the Parents. And this is a very common story which happen at almost every home in Sikkim. The number of drug users are increasing every year, who is to blame? Are the government taking any steps to stop the number of drug users? Will establishing many rehabs help reducing drug users when Govt of Sikkim itself is manufacturing a tablet like N10 and are freely available at all drug stores. BTW I could not co-relate Bhaichung Bhutia and Tarundeep Rai with this story.
April 19, 2011 at 2:48 pm
Its very sad, state that has produced stars like Bhaichung Bhutia, drug abuse is a contemplated issue which needs to be looked very seriously. I think we should take this matter very seriously, as this is a concern for every individual, and this individual may be from our own family. So, lets make everyone aware, educate and free our state from drugs.
May 3, 2011 at 7:15 pm
it is really very saddening thing to see this trend of substance abuse…..i being a nurse have seen how family members are suffering due to these problems. but one important thing is that many family members go with the flow of social stigma related to substance abuse and they are not able to consider substance abuse as a disease. good parenting is the key factor in preventing this disease. still then, if someone get this disease despite of all the care from the family members, then i think it should be treated at the earliest like we do for any other disease. i appeal to every people to kindly give a thought and help those suffering from substance abuse, they are like us – human and they are ill………
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