Reformed addict, who runs de-addiction centre in Gurgaon, relieves past
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Reformed addict, who runs de-addiction centre in Gurgaon, relieves past

Sudhir Kumar, who runs a reform centre in Gurgaon, said only someone who has been through it all, knows what it takes to reform an addict

gurgaon Updated: Jun 26, 2017 23:37 IST
Yashaswani Sehrawat
Yashaswani Sehrawat
hindustan times
drug addiction,drug abuse,sulfa
Inside, Nayi Umeed, a de-addiction centre in Gurgaon. Sudhir Kumar, who overcame his struggles after turning an addict in school, has been managing this centre since 2007.(HT PHOTO)

For five days after Sudhir Kumar was admitted in a de-addiction centre in Delhi in 2005 by his family, he had no idea where he was or what he was doing.

“Paanch din tak mai behosh tha. Mujhe baakiyon ne bataya mai kya kya harkatein kar raha tha (I was not in my senses for five days. Others told me what all I was doing),” the 35-year-old, who once used to be a drug addict, told HT.

Sudhir had experimented with alcohol and a range of narcotic substances at school. And he finally got addicted to ‘desi daaru’ and sulfa.

It has now been over 10 years now that he is ‘clean’. Sudhir, who dropped out of school while he was in class 10, has since been volunteering in de-addiction centres such as Ehsaas in Gurgaon and Navjivan in Bahardurgarh.

From 2007 onwards, he has been managing ‘Nayi Umeed’, a de-addiction centre in Old Gurgaon in Sector 5. His mission in life now is to give hope to other drug addicts.

The centre, which has a staff strength of 25, have all been drug addicts at some point in their lives.

“Only somebody who has been there would understand what one goes through and what kind of care is needed,” Sudhir said.

One of the staff members, who is the supervisor of the ward where new patients are admitted, said that being an addict himself has helped him take care of others.

“The ones who are admitted recently need the most attention. They show withdrawal symptoms and often get very violent. You can’t even think of things that they do,” the 29-year-old said.

But being someone who has recently quit drugs, he knows how to handle them.

“All the drug addicts know the consequences — alienation from the family, from society and broken relations. But they can’t control. So, we ensure that we divert their mind by sharing our experiences,” he said enthusiastically.

Another staff member, on the condition of anonymity, told HT that the addicts ‘are very smart’.

“They will often make you believe that they have left drugs. But that’s just a way to get out of the de-addiction centre and get back to the death trap,” the 53-year-old, who hails from Mahendergarh, said.

Read I A vicious cycle: Drug web grows around schools in Gurgaon

It is not just marijuana, smack and pills that people are addicted to.

Ram Kumar (name changed), who has been volunteering at the NGO for only three months, said petrol and Iodex, too, are used by addicts for kicks.

“When I didn’t have any other substance to turn to, I used to cut the tail of a lizard, warm it and eat it. It gave me a high,” the 21-year-old said.

They all agreed that they ‘couldn’t sleep, eat, sit or even stand’ when they were addicts. Their mind had stopped working completely, and all they could think of was ‘how to score’.

The nasha mukti Kendra has around 60 patients, most of whom are in the age group 18-35. It has two halls where the patients live. It is built over a 400 square yard area.

Sudhir said the youths are largely drawn to the “death trap of drugs”. He said they try it for fun before it becomes a habit.

It was 5.30 in the evening and was the time for their ‘sharing session’.

“We would all have been dead long ago, and nobody, including our family, would have remembered us,” Sudhir said. “The least we can do is to help other addicts quit the habit,” he said as the other staff nodded.

First Published: Jun 26, 2017 23:37 IST