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Prateik Babbar pens tell-all about his drug addiction: Women came and went, but drugs didn’t

Prateik Babbar wrote a tell-all column in which he documented his battle with drug addiction - a battle which began at the age of 13 and ended only when he almost died of an overdose.

bollywood Updated: Aug 12, 2017 19:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Prateik Babbar,Prateik,Prateik Babbar Drug Addiction
By his own admission, Prateik, during his growing years, had a turbulent relationship with his father, Raj Babbar, who tied the knot with the late Smita Patil (Prateik’s mother) while he was married to theatre artiste Nadira Babbar.(HT Photo)

Prateik Babbar today isn’t the same man he used to be. In a tell-all column published in Mid-Day, the actor wrote about his battle with drug addiction and how he is “stronger” and more “confident” than ever now. But for a long time, he wasn’t.

His first experience with drugs came when he was 13. “My struggle with drugs started before high school,” he said. “My first real drug was a disturbed childhood. Constantly faced with internal dilemma, the voices in my head debating where I belong and who I am, drugs came disguised as a glitzy escape. As years went by, I got acquainted with the narcotic underbelly, which led me to my first run-in with drugs at the age of 13.”

What started as experiments with marijuana and hashish, developed into an addiction to cocaine and acid. “While others who took drugs got fed up with it, I, unfortunately, got addicted. People turn judgmental when you’ve got a drug problem. Also, you don’t want to admit the fact that you do,” he said.

He continued, “Getting out of bed was almost impossible; nausea greeted me each morning, my body ached and I oscillated between hot and cold every few minutes. At that point, I didn’t even have a drug of choice, I took whatever I could lay my hands on.”

He was living under the delusion that his life was a “joyride”.

“Women,” he said, “came and went, but drugs didn’t.” But an overdose made him sit up and “take note of the monster (he) had become.”

But his column was written more as a word of warning for others who face similar problems. Rehab helped Prateik get better, and the actor knows that it can help others too.

“I realised I hadn’t looked myself in the eye ever since I started getting high. Following multiple episodes that made me feel like a miserable prisoner of drugs, I decided to finally seek professional help. My family refused to see their loved one attempt to slowly kill himself, and encouraged me to sign up for rehab,” he said.

“I am certain that I will wrestle my need for drugs even on my best days, but the only way to keep cynicism at bay is by sharing the emotions that fuelled my addiction in the first place. That is also the first reason for scripting this piece. The second is to break the stigma associated with addiction. This stigma, I always feared, would define me for the rest of my life. I want to tell every addict that there is assistance. I can’t promise that it will be easy, but I can assure you that it will be simpler than following a life that will eventually destroy you, and everything you love.”

Prateik Babbar was last seen in 2015’s Umrika. He has two films coming up: Aroni Tokhon and Robinhood Ke Pote.

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First Published: Aug 12, 2017 19:13 IST