1 of Every 100 Patnaites a Drug Addict

 
PATNA: Drug abuse is quite rampant in Bihar capital with almost 1% of the city's population having been addicted to drugs. 
 
According to a survey conducted by IGNOU's department of social work early this year, alcohol is the prime addiction that has crippled the life of almost 55% of the addicts. While 18% of them are addicted to `bhaang' and `marijuana', 6% to smack and 18% to multiple drugs. 
 
At `Disha', a city-based rehabilitation centre, this reporter came across several such cases. Rahul (name changed) aspired to become an engineer and went to Kota where he got addicted to drugs and ended up in a rehab centre in Mumbai. Currently under treatment at Disha, he has been sober for six months. 
 
Ravish Prasad (name changed)'s is a worse case. A banker with a national bank, Ravish was leading a married life when he developed a fancy for an addictive, killer injection. His family brought him to Disha for rehabilitation and he turned sober after treatment. Two years on, he got addicted to alcohol. 
 
Anju Verma, a clinical psychologist, says drugs destroy the person not only mentally but also physically. Prolonged use of drugs can also lead to multiple organ failures. "Problem is, even if there is a desire to go for rehab, families of only 20% of the addicts come forward while the others just sit on the problem due to the social stigma attached with it," she said. 
 
Drug addiction should indeed cause concern to the civil society since 55% of drug users are the youth in the age group of 18-35 years. While 13% of them are in the age group of 35-50 years, the rest are over 50 years old, according to a recent study done by Disha. 
 
The more shocking find is that 6% of the addicts are children below the age of 18 years. Almost 60% of the addicts are semi literates and the most vulnerable localities in the city are Sabjibagh, Gardanibagh and Digha, according to the Disha findings. 
 
Social worker Rakhi Sharma is worried. "There are various reasons for drug addiction. It could be peer pressure or depression due to failed love affair or, no less importantly, the experimental nature of today's youth," she said. 
 
Disha, which has been into rehab for the last 27 years, has seen the number of cases rising manifold in recent years. It offers OPT and IPT facilities; that is, it has patients who come to the rehab from their homes as well as patients who stay in the rehab for the treatment.