On 8th June, 2009, Ms. R from Youth Ki Awaaz interviewed Chohtu, a drug addict. Read the candid conversation as we take you through the life of Chohtu. A touching experience.
How old were you when you first started using drugs?
I was in around class 9, I guess, when I started using drugs. I started off with chemicals first
How were you introduced to drugs?
At an early age I was attracted to the glam life, and I Loved the pomp and show.
I wanted to party always, get in touch with young models. We saw females, the happening people and many other reasons. So, I was basically into the wrong company and this led me to drugs.
Do you remember the day you started taking them?
No I do not remember the day but one of the important days I remember is when I was really struck high
Can you elaborate?
Actually at first I was scared of getting caught at home, so I used to take drugs in very small quantity.
And I was also scared of getting addicted. So I thought if I do it less I will always keep it in control.
Pata nahi chala s**la kaab ye apne ko control karne laga. Struck high!!!!! Yes I will elaborate.
What I mean was that, this particular day I remember is when I was first time hit badly. This was not the first time but the first time I had crÃ¨me. That’s “charas” as u call it.
What was the first drug you used?
That also I m not very sure off, but all I remember is, I was into chemicals first.
Like diluters, iodex, many many schd H tablets
Schd H tablets?
They are the most dangerous tablets and all the tablets which the govt. has ruled to be sold only on showing a doctor prescription are called schd H tablets……
Strong steroids, women menstrual tablets, and all which has high sulpheric chemicals
They all are schd H drugs…
Which drug did you eventually end up addicted to?
Ok. So as Time passed, I grew up and met more and more experienced people. By now I was in class 11th and after around years in chemical my capacity to intake it had grown. So I now partied, went to clubs, discos, five star hotels… This is when I met many from the glam world, like DJ’s, models, tollywood stars, and more people, more drug addicts. This is when I was introduced to natural, as well as high stuff chemical like ecstasy tab and stuff. Now I am not sure if I am still addicted or not….
How long were you on drugs?
Around 10years I guess… at least. So according to that age, I started AROUND WHEN I WAS 13.
What was it that made you want to keep taking the drugs?
This is a very very very tough question. This if I knew I would have removed it… there is something which is very bad… The addiction is not just one effect… Many things happen… nature changes… when u take drugs, things are under your control. But when you don’t, nothing is under your control. No will power. No fear
Who knew about your problem when you were on drugs?
At first, no one, then close friends, then all friends, then every1 outside, then family too.
When did your family find out?
When I was doing chemical, but, by that time I had started natural. But till date my parents know only about chemical. So I use to do it at home since it was easily available. But the smell and all I got, made me get caught.
Smell of? Chemicals?
What happened when you were confronted?
No one ever confronted. Everyone was scared of me.
Even your parents?
They knew I had a temper. I could kill anyone, they knew that. That’s why.
Where did you get the drugs from?
Chemical is always available and is very easy to get. In your house, everywhere, stationary shop, pharmacy, paint shops, petrol pumps… But other natural drugs we got to of know slowly were from slums and anti-social areas. But at first it was “so called” friends who use to get it for me.
Do you know where the dealers get the drugs from?
Once when I was in college I became very frank with the peddlers, the sellers. Different drugs come from different places and different areas of India. Like in east India, grass (ganja) is from the North East, Sikkim, Mizoram and Nepal, Opium / brown sugar and stuff are from Phillip, Indonesia and other small islands. Similarly in north India, grass (ganja) is from Kashmir and Himachal and Opium is from Punjab, Pakistan and Afghanistan. So much more to it…
Then there are other drugs like coke. Coke also comes from Rajasthan and Pakistan border. A lot of opium grows in Rajasthan as well.
Would you say there is a serious drug problem among the youth?
Yes. And if given an opportunity most of the people would take to drugs. It is there, deep and very deep, and nothing can be done. All one can do is keep their children away from it. But the modern world demands it.
Hmmm. That’s your opinion?
Like as if it happened in my case.
What happened in your case?
No, that’s the truth. At first no one pushes it into your mouth but you try to become happening and do this shit. You do it in control, but you never know when it gets all over you. That’s in everyone’s case. People say it’s a bad thing, why try? But I will give an example. Someone has a bulldog as his pet. He took the dog out. Suddenly a cycle hit the dog by mistake, people will gather to shout at the cyclist. And den after some time a street dog comes under a car, but no one said anything to the driver. Why? It’s all what you are. You have a support. If someone falls into it, it is because of the wrong company and temptation. When you are a kid you don’t know what’s good or bad… By the time you are a grown up… you are so addicted that you know it’s bad but cannot leave it… You tell lies that you are no more into it but yet you do it. You cannot explain to anyone what you are going through.
The blood, what it does to your brains, the feeling of nerves bursting any moment. All and so many more things happening when you try to stop it. So that’s what it is all about. It doesn’t matter what religion and society says, because all we know is they are too good people to be explained to.
Yes. We’ve seen it in students and all. Fun turns disastrous in the long run
I liked your example.
It’s all about support. If you fall and get a support, you get up again. So the good people say because they have support.
But didn’t you have support at home or friends?
By the time they knew it was late and over……..
I was already addicted. I could not sleep if I did not dope anything. So I needed it every night.
When you started to take the drug, how did it make you feel?
No comments, different drugs have different feelings, makes u trip.
When and how did you decide that you wanted to quit?
When I got married, and soon my wife came to know about it.
She did not say much and understood my problem and my pain.
I was in rehab for 3months
And then once I came back I was totally taken care of by my wife. She really did her best. And I am still fighting with it, till now so I will not say I left it, but it’s been around an year since I haven’t doped.
So you’ve been clean for an year now
Any side effects you see?
A lot. I have changed a lot in a good manner, like, healthier stuff. But bad things are that I still cannot sleep at night, even if I sleep I get up every hour. I get into depression faster and cannot face it. Previously when I used to get angry, sad, whatever, I used to dope. But now I cannot, so I don’t know how to face it. This is why I cry and shout even at small things. I cannot take the pain. My brain pinches, I get blows on my head… inside my head, and my nerves literally start moving… and beating like heart does… I have noticed that a nerve comes out from my forehead and blood flow goes at high speed, I think. That’s why I can feel it pumping. This is when I have so much of temptation and this hurts, feels like, if I cannot have it then I’ll die.
What are the psychological damages or any other damages you’ve been thru or seen around you cause of this deadly habit?
Please change the question, can’t express. Please!!
Do you feel confident not to do drugs again?
No I am not sure. That’s what I said before as well. I will not say that I left it, but I will say it’s been a year since I haven’t had it.
A year after leaving the habit you say you are not sure. Just how deadly is this?
The temptation is still the same. No changes, so I am just fighting with it, literally every single day.
What is the attitude of the community towards drug abuse?
People do not treat the addicts well. The society is not trying to help. They talk bad about you. But I have noticed that the addict’s are cleaner at heart than the so called society. I still remember in Delhi, how we used to play with the beggars and street dogs after we were high. How I use to bring the street dog to my bed and sleep with the pup. People called us psycho, but we called them cold human body with no soul. And I feel drugs are something which takes you to extremes. So when we were cold, then we were worst than animals, but then that is a different story altogether.
Do you think more needs to be done in the community to bring drug awareness to the fore?
Awareness is already there. What I feel is that people should learn to kill the cause. We are treating the diseased, not the disease. If people control their children, do not give them so much of exposure at an early stage then things might change.
Exposure to what?
People try to make their children modern and the children end up in this. Not everyone is lucky to get out of it. Like where you stay, educate your children there, no need to keep in the best, a good institute is also fine. Similarly, if your child says he wants to go for group study at a friend’s places its ok, but only once in a while, not every week or regularly. No late night outs. I feel every home should have rules and guidelines.
Coming from such an experienced former doper, I’ll take that seriously.
There should be a strong head. Charity begins at home
Note from Ms.R.
Fights, sexual assault, and injuries are more likely to happen. Girls get raped, MMS clippings come out. Being young and in college doesn’t protect you from addiction. Responsible behavior does. The negative consequences of drug abuse affect not only individuals who abuse drugs but also their families and friends, various businesses, and government resources. The most obvious effects of drug abuse–which are manifested in the individuals who abuse drugs–include ill health, sickness and, ultimately, death. Particularly devastating to an abuser’s health is the contraction of needle borne illnesses including hepatitis and HIV/AIDS through injection drug use. Children of individuals who abuse drugs often are abused or neglected as a result of the individuals’ preoccupation with drugs. Children whose parents and other family members abuse drugs often are physically or emotionally abused and often lack proper immunizations, medical care, dental care, and necessities such as food, water, and shelter.
Reasons why you shouldn’t do drugs:
Rehabs in India