Fight against drug addiction: ‘Perhaps sharing my story will help others shun drugs’https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/fight-against-drug-addiction-perhaps-sharing-my-story-will-help-others-shun-drugs-2824860/

Fight against drug addiction: ‘Perhaps sharing my story will help others shun drugs’

Once a drug addict, Mehtaab talks of his transformation into a short story writer in Punjabi and Urdu.

Mehtaab Singh at a rally in Muktsar Sahib.  Gurmeet Singh
Mehtaab Singh at a rally in Muktsar Sahib. Gurmeet Singh

Mehtaab Singh (24), a post-graduate in computer applications, was the main attraction at a district-level rally on drug awareness at Muktsar organised by the district legal services authority( DLSA) on May 27. Once a drug addict, Mehtaab talks of his transformation into a short story writer in Punjabi and Urdu.

“In 2009, I enrolled for BCA (bachelor of computer applications) in a Moga college. There, I met a few boys from Dalewala village where drugs were available freely. Soon, from beer and liquor, I graduated to to poppy husk and I became addicted to it,” said Mehtaab at one of his seminars. “I started failing in my studies. Out of the 24 subjects in the three-year course, I had to appear for supplementary exams in 22.”

But in 2012, Mehtaab lost a friend to drugs. It was a warning sign that Mehtaab heeded. With support from his mother and coach Gurmeet Singh, he was able to fight his desires to return to substance abuse.

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“Coach Gurmeet Singh helped me a lot. He diverted all my energy into sports. He used to make me run, cycle and even walk daily. My mother made sure I had enough nutrition in my system to support this gruelling regime. Within eight to nine months of starting my training, I was a much healthier man,” he said.

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With his drug habit a thing of the past, Mehtaab could focus on his academics once again. “I completed my BCA successfully after clearing all supplementary papers. I took up MCA and cleared it with 86 per cent marks. Now, I am looking at a PhD,” he said.

He is also literary secretary with NGO Guru Gobind Singh Study circle which works for de-addiction and regularly motivates patients. He said, “Earlier I used to be reluctant. But now I show them my photos as well as how I used to look when I was an addict. Perhaps my sharing can improve someone else’s life.”