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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Inside a rehab centre: Former addict helps another say no to drugs

It began with snorting a few lines of ketamine at guitar jamming sessions.

Written by Aditi Vatsa | Published: October 4, 2013 12:45:29 am

It began with snorting a few lines of ketamine at guitar jamming sessions. But it was the urge to go on higher trips and “explore his mind” that turned this 19-year-old youth into a drug addict.

He says it was curiosity about their psychedelic effects,which made him push the envelope. “I wanted to go on higher trips and experience psychedelic images,” he says at a rehab centre in the city.

Nearly three years ago,he started experimenting with charas and ganja,gradually moving on to cocaine,ecstasy,ketamine and LSD.

But what started as an experiment soon turned into an addiction.

“After waking up,I would inject ketamine,I would snort the drug,eat something,snort or inject more ketamine… there was no end to it. I used to play the guitar and was part of a band. Before jamming with friends,I would step out and snort some K (ketamine). I tried all kinds of drugs… cocaine,hashish,ecstasy,LSD… I was in Goa for about a month and I spent all my money,school fees,house rent and money that my parents gave me for the trip,on drugs,” he says.

This March,while injecting a large dose of ketamine,he realised things had gone out of control. “I had locked myself in my room. I was injecting into my veins nearly twice the amount I usually take when I passed out. For almost 45 minutes,I was unconscious. I thought I was going to die. My mother was banging the door. When I regained consciousness,I saw the syringe still attached to my vein with blood oozing out. That day,I realised I needed help,” he says.

He joined a private rehab in South Delhi. Now he is a rookie tattoo artist.

The man who runs the rehab centre in Kalkaji was himself a drug addict for 10 years. Mrinal Verma is now out of drugs and helps others like the 19-year-old to kick the habit.

De-addiction,he says,is not easy. “The time a person needs to spend in rehab varies on a case-to-case basis. The treatment is done in a phased manner. In the first phase,a medical check-up of the person is done,followed by de-toxification. It is followed by counselling,where,through yoga,meditation and reading,we try to help the person cope with withdrawal symptoms,” Verma says.

Most party drug users go to private centres for treatment. In India,there are three types of de-addiction centres. There are over 430 centres run by NGOs. The second category comprises 122 de-addiction centres associated with hospitals or medical colleges. Private rehabs make up the third group.

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