Peer pressure can be one of the leading causes that can push the present day educated youths towards drugs addiction.
If you do not believe in it, ask Manita Pandey, a former drugs addict, who is now working as a volunteer in Goreto Nepal, non government organization working in the fiel of rehabilitation of drugs users and HIV/ AIDS victims.
Recalling her past days, Pandey said, “I was a medical student at the Manipal University in Pokhara. I was good in studies, but as I was unemployed for a long run, depression started getting the better of me. I had started suffering severe headaches and as a result some of my peers gave me medicines that worked for me then as they took away all my pain.”
Pandey said that she was addicted to those sedatives and could not stay without them for a minute. One day, she realized that the medicines given to her by her peers was not an ordinary medicines. Rather, they were the drugs that were leading her towards addiction
“When my peers told me that I was given drugs, I was totally astounded. Then, gradually I started to give up my addiction,” said Pandey.
Sharing her experience, Pandey said that she stayed inside tank for five days in order to leave her addiction. But now she carries in her a new confidence in her, which has helped her change her old habit.
The step taken by her is noteworthy. Pandey is now actively working with the organizations that help the drugs users and the HIV victims. “Drugs users and HIV victims are despised in the society. In the cases of women, they are sexually harassed and are forced to bear the torture. The perception of people needs to be changed, “said Pandey.
Pandey is glad that she is far away from the world of drugs nowadays and she earning on her own.
Pandey shared her experience in an interaction programme entitled “Addressing Harm Reduction in the Re-Drafted Constitution for Constituent Assembly Members” on Wednesday.
The programme organized by Naya Goreto extensively discussed about the ways for addressing the problems of the HIV/AIDS patients with the Constituent Assembly Members and stakeholders. The interaction gathered suggestions and shared experiences about the ways to address the scourge of drugs use and HIV/AIDS.
During the programme, various Constituent Assembly members pledged for every kind of support needed for the HIV/AIDS patients. They stressed that awareness progamme should be launched in all levels and awareness regarding HIV/AIDS should be prescribed in the curricula.They also said that the rights of the HIV/AIDS victims should be protected in the upcoming constitution.
Meanwhile, Bijay Pandey, president of Goreto Nepal, said that drugs abuse was the bitter reality of our country. “Nepal is different from other countries as has poor economic condition and rising unemployment. The heroin used by the drugs abusers comes from golden triangle and Buprenorphine is manufactured in India. Earlier, the use and cultivation of cannabis was totally eliminated by our government. After that the drugs users started to use syringes and the cases of HIV/AIDS got amplified,” said Pandey.
According to him, 30 to 40 per cent young people experiment drugs in their life where the risk of HIV/AIDS transmission is 40 per cent higher. “Most of higher secondary students are into drugs. So, compassionate treatment services, nutrition, shelter for homeless, health care , voluntary counseling and testing should be carried out for drugs victims,” said Pandey.
This article was published on The Rising Nepal on March 11, 2012.