Once an addict for thirteen years, Chandigarh dentist helps others give up drugshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/once-an-addict-for-thirteen-years-chandigarh-dentist-helps-others-give-up-drugs-5590448/

Once an addict for thirteen years, Chandigarh dentist helps others give up drugs

Dr Rampal, who belongs to Amritsar, said he wanted to run a rehabilitation centre for the patients, where they will not have to live in fear. Rampal himself has been a drug addict for 13 years.

Once an addict for thirteen years, Chandigarh dentist helps others give up drugs
Dr Rampal interacts with drug addicts at Mehar Foundation in Panchkula on Monday. (Express photo: Jaipal Singh)

Eight years back, he was a drug addict and now he runs a rehabilitation centre which has helped over 50 people to recover from drug addiction. Dr Abhimanyu Rampal, who holds a MDS (Masters of Dental Surgery) degree, set up Mehar Foundation, a drug rehabilitation centre at Sector 12, Panchkula in 2016. In three years, he has dealt with around 110 patients.

Dr Rampal, who belongs to Amritsar, said he wanted to run a rehabilitation centre for the patients, where they will not have to live in fear. Rampal himself has been a drug addict for 13 years. “I was 17-years-old, when I first took alcohol and then I moved to cocaine and then to heroin. After I completed my BDS, I joined a college as a lecturer at Yamunanagar (Haryana), but I was on intake of drugs. It was January 2012, when I got married at the age of 31, when me and my wife both took drugs. One day I had an unbearable pain in my body. I then decided to quit drugs in February 2012. I applied the method of cold Turkey and locked myself in my room and remained inside. After 12 days I was at a normal position,” Dr Rampal told Chandigarh Newsline.

“After leaving drugs, I asked my wife to leave the same, but she did not agree to it and we got separated in 2013,” he said.

“After one gets addicted to heroin, the person may even get involved in criminal activities to get it. It also weakens mind and body. Will power is must to get rid of drugs, I did it and I think everyone can do it,” Dr Rampal said.

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After recovering from the drug use, Dr Rampal aimed for the reformation of other addicts. He moved to Delhi in 2013 for a training at the National Institute of Social Defense, under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, for holding de-addiction awareness camps and running rehabilitation centres.

In 2016 February, he was finally able to set up the Mehar Foundation. “At present, we have 13 patients who are made to go through different stages of physical, emotional and spiritual treatments. The patients are given proper diet , taken to gym every morning and for spa. The patients are taken for swimming twice a week, for movies once in a week, and also to short trips to hills,” he said.

“Initially, the patients are counselled through a psychiatric and kept on medicines for 10 days. Then the rehabilitation process begins which can lasts to a month over even more depending on the patient’s condition. At our centre, financially weaker patients are treated for free,” he added.