little has ever been done to bring back drug abusers to normal
life. Abusers are usually lost in their habit. And the disdain
and apathy that their addiction induces in friends and relatives
only worsen the situation. Now, that scenario must change
for the benefit of both -- ones who are caught in the web
of addiction and the rest.
To mark the International Day for "prevention
of drug abuse and illicit trafficking", programmes were
organised to initiate a change in the outlook. CREA (Centre
for Rehabilitation of Drug Addiction) and ALO, meaning ‘light’
in English, staged a function to mark the event at Rabindra
Sharobor amphitheater at Dhanmondi on June 25.
On the occasion, many rehabilitated addicts
spoke their minds, and they were all unanimous on the issue
of opening up and feeling free to consult people and to let
friends and relatives know about their peril in order to come
out of the vicious cycle.
ALO, an organisation that works for awareness
of drug users, arranged a musical programme. But music was
not the only thing that brought several exponents of the field
under one banner. Alongside vocal presentations, there was
a point to be made. It was about awareness of both addicts
and people around them. The programme of CREA started off
with the Director General of Narcotics Department, Kamaluddin
Ahmed's speech. And what made it a concert of concerned minds,
is that the parents whose children were once lost in drug
addiction, the teachers who helped them through it, and most
of all, the children, who are past the nightmare of addiction,
got a chance to reveal their hearts.
A drug addict, once out of the habit, can
certainly put things in proper perspective. When one boy came
to the stage and boldly retraced his days of bingeing, it
was an education for many. He called the initial attempts
at binging as being ‘moments-of-happiness’, which
later turned out to be a horrifying cycle. How a person can
be totally thrown out of the community and how an addict gets
hooked is only one part of the ordeal, and the other part
is the urgency to raise money to feed the habit.
"It takes Tk 50 to 500 each day to continue
to feed such cravings depending on the addict's need. It is
like a fever, and if he or she fails to bring it to the notice
of others, the chance of recovery would be nil. One who wants
to come out of this cycle will have to ask for help. There
are plenty of clinics now, which are taking in such patients,"
Iqbal Faruk Milky, Director of CREA, believes
that making young people aware of the hazard is the first
step. He says, "We are trying to remove several misconceptions
through our programmes. Many believe Marijuana is natural
and does not have any after-effect; with heroin oozing the
mind with happiness and alcohol giving pleasure and releasing
energy, they are often wrongly considered to be stimulants.
All these lead to severe consequences, especially with adolescents,
the outcome is disastrous."
"What these young people need is proper
guidance from the family, attention from near ones to help
them stay away from drugs," emphasised a parent. Shahedul
Islam Helal, a father of an addict said, "These kids
should open up to their parents. We, as parents, should give
more time to our children. There are 25 lakh addicts in the
country right now and a big percentage of abuses results from
our inability to tackle the problem of drug trafficking."
One of the teachers who attended the programme came up with
the most empathetic way of dealing with addicts. He said,
"We should not hate the drug addicts and leave them to
deal with it all by themselves. Rather, we should take care
of them and explain the consequences to the ones who are still
very emotional Anusheh Anadil, lead singer of the band 'Bangla'
then shared her views. She had to go through a rehabilitation
programme -- she was honest with her confession. "I was
once a drug addict myself and I know how much pain one has
to go through. There are plenty of female addicts who cannot
find rehabilitation centres dedicated to women only. And they
cannot quite open up as their male counterparts do. My parents
were well off and therefore could afford the treatment, but
think of those women who remain helpless without such support.
So, it is my plea to all of you who want to try it out for
the sake of curiosity or even out of frustration-- please
say NO to Drugs."
(R) thedailystar.net 2004