Drug addiction left such a bitter aftertaste in the mouths of Kirpal, Pardeep, Kanwar, Gurpreet, Ashu and Sandeep, that they now help pull others out of this quagmire.
After years of drug abuse, they have transformed into anti-drug crusaders. They were into body building and wrestling but in a bid to build mass and strength, mask pain and stimulate the body, they started using performance-enhancing drugs and fell ultimately into addiction.
These volunteers participate in motivational activities for the addicts, distribute awareness material and assist counselling with the hope that they may inspire others to continue wit the treatment despite irresistible cravings. Kirpal Singh, son of an FCI inspector, was a brilliant student and an excellent hockey player who had the opportunity of playing with the international star Dhanraj Pillay. After representing his school at the national level, Kirpal attained training at the State School of Sports, Jalandhar, and graduated from Lyalpur Khalsa College, Jalandhar, but got hooked on to drugs during his graduation.
The simple intake of cough syrup under peer pressure led to norphin injections and much more. “There was no comeback or so it seemed,” said Kirpal Singh.
Pardeep Singh was into drugs since 14. A resident of Verka, he gave up studies in Class-11, quit his job as an auto-rickshaw driver, sold his parental property and household items to buy drugs.
Pushed virtually to the verge of insanity, he was sent to mental asylum for treatment and later shifted to Swami Vivekanand Drug De-addiction and Treatment Centre in Guru Nanak Hospital, Amritsar. After being successfully detoxified, he has been rehabilitated as a security guard.
Kanwardeep Singh of Kandhowali was multi-drug addict since 18. The automibile mechanic became victim of travel fraud and landed in Turkmenistan instead of Germany. After coming home, drugs acquired a vicelike grip on the life this frustrated boy.
Gurpreet, 31, a married man from an affluent family living in the border village of Attari, had fallen prey to heroin. Father to a six-year-old son, he was drawn into this menace out of thrill and curiosity. His family sent him to a de-addiction centre in Uttrakhand, but he ran away after being ill-treated there. He’s not going back into the dark alley of drugs.