NCB To Further Slash Rampant Youth Drug Abuse: Sudhangshu Singh
| Didhiti Ghosh, Bureau Chief, IOP, Kolkata - 12 Jan 2019

NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU TO FURTHER SLASH RAMPANT YOUTH DRUG ABUSE: SUDHANGSHU SINGH, ZONAL DIRECTOR

By Didhiti Ghosh

Bureau Chief

Indian Observer Post

Kolkata, Jan 12, 2019: Bhalobasha De-Addiction & Rehabilitation Centre for Drug Addicts & Alcoholics in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Management (Kolkata) organized a workshop on Substance Abuse & Healthy Lifestyle in Kolkata on 6th January, 2019. The workshop was held with the purpose of educating the public and spreading awareness about substance abuse, its causes and effects and how one can control addiction.

“Our centre, ever since it was founded in 2002, has been working hard to help suffering addicts by giving them strength, positive support and happiness. Today, like every other year, is yet another milestone,” said Subhasis Nath, Founder-Director of Bhalobasha De-Addiction & Rehabilitation Centre and himself a recovered addict. The Chief Guests invited were Sudhangshu Kumar Singh (Zonal Director, Narcotics Control Bureau, Kolkata), Manoj Mishra (Narcotics Control Bureau), Sujoy Biswas (Director & CEO, Techno India Group), Samanjit Sengupta (Jt. Secretary, Consumer Affairs Dept., WB), Nandini Saraswati (Jt. Secretary, Disaster Management Dept., WB), Avik Dutta (Barrister, Kolkata High Court), Dilip Banerjee (ASHOKA Fellow & Vice President, Bhalobasha), Prabhat B. Mitra (President, Bhalobasha & Ex-President, Rotary Club of Calcutta) and Anusua Chowdhury (Asst. Secretary, Bhalobasha).

The principal feature of the event has been the testimonials of success given by the same individuals who had been addicts at one point of their lives, but after coming in contact with Bhalobasha De-Addiction & Rehabilitation Centre and passing through the treatment, had been transformed into completely different individuals with more self control and confidence as social beings.

“The services that we provide range from psychiatric treatment, psychotherapy, individual and group counselling, work therapy, and pranayams to Progressive Muscle Relaxation Therapy, meditation, PowerPoint presentations, coaching classes for students, prayer sessions and participation in awareness programmes,” said Sangita Kundu, psychologist and co-founder of the organization.

The organization also provides specialized service for discharged and recovering addicts like regular follow-up and counselling at free of cost, driving awareness programmes and teletherapeutic counselling. For the family members of the addicts, Bhalobasha De-Addiction & Rehabilitation Centre organizes regular meetings where it professes them appropriate behaviour towards the client.

“Drug addiction is a physical need, as most people realize it, but more so, it is misbalanced emotional need on the part of the client. We must learn to address this emotional need and family members must be aware of it,” mentioned Subhasis Nath.

The question of relapse when it comes to drug and alcohol abuse perplexes many. Social stress, says Kundu, is a major issue to be considered, as many individuals, shortly after recovery, face high expectations from near-and-dear ones which create anxiety in them. Apart from advocating a peaceful ambience among them, it is also necessary that a good nutritious diet be provided, with special diets for diabetic individuals or those who have serious liver-related problems like cirrhosis, which is the case for many addicts. Several students of Nursing and Medicine collaborate with us in providing thorough treatment.

“People start loving you once you come back and do so with success. Till then, you feel like an alien amongst many, and no one accepts you as an individual with social and emotional limitations,” said Mr Bose, a recovering alcohol addict.

“Bhalobasha De-Addiction & Rehabilitation Centre not only stands out by name but also by its generous service...I do not and will not go back to what I was before, and I thank Subhasis dada and Sangita didi for making be realize that the addiction to wellbeing and happiness more valuable than the addiction to drugs,” recalled Mr Mitra, a fully recovered drug addict.

The Director of the Narcotics Control Bureau (Kolkata) Sudhangshu Kumar Singh was present as a Chief Guest. Singh recalled the various drug-related cases that have been and still are continuing in the states under our control, especially during festive times at nightclubs.

“The problem of synthetic drugs is still on the rise, and the NCB team is trying hard to put reins on the issue. The internet is a facilitator to the rampant abuse, because it makes illegal transactions faster than ever for the addicts,” Singh said.

Manoj Mishra (Officer, NCB Kolkata) also remarked how the year ends observe rampant rise in the use of hard drugs including synthetic psychedelic stimulants like methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), more commonly known as ecstasy. Apart from this, hallucinogens like lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and stimulant narcotics like cocaine are frequently abused, especially by the youth.

“Guardians must also take care of their children, as without them the NCB will not be able to end the trend of substance abuse. Parents must regularly keep track of the social network that their children engage with, as often what we find is that due to excessive social freedom given to them by the family, teenagers and youth utilize it to pave their path toward drug abuse. The generation gap marks a huge difference,” added Mishra.

At the same time, more workshops and awareness campaigns must be organized, said Dr Sujoy Biswas, Director & CEO of Techno India. A motivational speaker famous for his weekly show “Jayer Pathe Sange Sujoy”, he believes that imbibing a strong motivation to think positive among drug abusers is very important. No one knows when one might fall prey to addiction, but if one tries hard to live a healthy life and never gives up on the same, victory will be achieved, Biswas said. He had faced a similar situation at home, where he had had the experience of living closely with an addict and observe the stress that it can cause for the other family members.

“There must be parity between ambition and ability, work and worth. Once one can consciously specify these limits, one will never wish to abuse drugs,” said Biswas. Surajeet Shashtri, an invited guest and astrologer also holds the same opinion.

Santanu Bose, Additional OC, Narcotics Cell (Kolkata Police) affirmed that the rise of synthetic drug abuse is taking a toll in the present society, and more awareness programmes must be organized by the Bengal Government. The difficulty of the police in detection also lies with the fact that psychedelics like MDMA, methamphetamine, LSD, magic mushrooms do not produce any particular distinct smell characteristic of other substances like hashish or ganja.

Samanjit Sengupta (Joint Secretary, Dept. of Consumer Affairs, WB) mentioned that finding a “me-time” in the present society and spending time with the family has drastically reduced as people are starting to live more individualistic lives. This is giving hype to stress, tension, anxiety and therefore more drug abuse to bring relief.

“A recent research study in America has proven that drug abuse is a disease that can take control over the brain and body, and one must be very careful even before thinking of trying out hard drugs,” Sengupta added.

Nandini Saraswati (Joint Secretary, Dept. of Disaster Management, WB) mentioned that it is important to attain the trust of an addict, else the treatment will not be successful. Saraswati also pointed out how the present state of affairs of illegal drug abuse in the city is also gradually spreading to the villages and towns, where women face the social struggle.

“Our department works closely with village societies, where there are complaints of physical and emotional torture of economically less empowered women. Women empowerment also deserves an aspect of positive social security, which many homemakers in the rural areas do not have. One must responsibly look into the matter for the benefit of these families in general and that of the larger society in particular,” affirmed Saraswati.

However, Prabhat Bhanu Mitra (President, Bhalobasha & ex-President, Rotary Club of Kolkata), added on a more optimistic tone when he said that positive emotional support can also positively change lives and that India now ranks 135th as found out in a recent social science survey.

The eastern Indian state of West Bengal that contributes to almost 45% of the country’s child trafficking cases is also emerging as a major hub of drug trafficking. It is high time that the matter is seriously looked upon by the Bengal Government.

(Note: Names of clients have been changed to maintain privacy.)

(DIDHITI GHOSH is a journalist, psychologist, script-writer, professor and a certified translator & interpreter of the Spanish language. She is the Bureau Chief of Indian Observer Post based in Kolkata. Contact: didhiti.24@gmail.com)


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