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From the Cesspool of Drugs to Counselling: Journey of 17-year Teen

Heroin or diamorphine is an opioid, which is used in the field of medicine as sedatives. But, some errant teens are engrossed by its “euphoric effects” and spoil their life. One such case was Fahim.

Fahim at Vikalp

Fahim a counsellor at Vikalp, Ghaziabad, is also a familiar face for anyone visiting the rehab. Just as promised in an earlier piece, his story will be shared briefly to shed more light on the use of opioid among the adolescents.

Today when you hear him speak, the conviction in his voice and the confidence is not just of his own but a blend of family support and his own nightmares. He still remembers how he started it all; at a joy house in the neighbourhood. A 6th fail Fahim had little knowledge about the psychological fallout of smack (a street name for heroin).

He made some efforts to ward off this evil, the first being 7 years after his first encounter with smack i.e. in 2006. It did not work, and so neither did his other attempts until 2013 when he came to Vikalp on the advice of an uncle. His one-year stint in the rehab was a blessing because after 6 months he was inducted as an in-house staff.

He calls it a blessing because he not only left this addiction for good but was also able to fight back a brief relapse 3 years ago. He realised that his life is only shielded when he is advising others about the menace of drug addiction. From then on, he has worked in many rehab centres, however, his favourite being Vikalp where he is now.

Fahim counselling at Vikalp

He misses his family especially his wife and two daughters. When asked about it, he grinned his acknowledgement for the same and in a simpering voice replied that he goes to meet them intermittently for a biryani.

Even though while narrating the story he was candid, he got emotional when I asked him to suggest something for youngsters who do substance abuse for recreational purposes. He was pretty direct in his response – “Nasha main kuch nhi rakha, 15 saal main yehi seekha”. He said that the addiction even robbed him of his dignity and went to narrate some incidents when he got into the habit of stealing money and also committed other petty crimes, even though he hailed from a respectable and well-to-do family.

One thing which I was curious to know about him was how does he control himself while at home. I was reminded of the proverb – Life teaches more effectively than books or school. Even though semi-literate, he was quick to enlist three points –

  • Stay away from people who use drugs, even if they are your friends.
  • Stay far from such places where you know such activities are going on; do not experiment and do not test yourself.
  • Make time only for the family when you are free.

These guidelines, apparently preachy in tone, are strictly for him and other similar folks, who have been the victim of their tryst with drugs.

His journey of 15-year drug abuse is a lesson for many. He was so excited to share the story that he retrieved an old photograph of his (during the addiction days) and told me to compare it with his recent picture. Have a look, you can judge for yourself.

Fahim before and after Vikalp

I wanted to ask some more questions, but, he signed off by saying – zindagi anmol hai, yeh nasha karne ke liye nahi bani, ache kaam karo, aagey badho.

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