I am Michael a student of Sichey Junior High School. I grew up in Jorethang which is a hub for drug trafficking. It has been designated as a vulnerable area for a drug users and one can find almost any kind of substance here.
Family problems and peer pressure got me into drugs and soon I was an addict. I grew up watching older kids buying cigarettes and smoking, I remember, when I was barely 5 years, I would see my older brothers buying cigarettes from shops and smoking. Not knowing anything but I was curious. I also tried smoking. As I grew older and at the age of 7 years my close friends were smoking weed and I accompanied them which got me into the habit and later into addiction. By the age of 11 years, I upgraded my addiction to SP (SpasmoProxyvon) which made it easy to start using harder tripped substances. By the time I turned 14 years, I had started using drugs like “kaalo” and Phensedy. The realization point of my life came when I was 16 years old. I tried brown sugar. My body could not handle the trip as my health was already crushed by every bit of addiction that I had gotten into as I was growing up. I then I realized that if I continue this way my life was not going very far.
My father never cared about whatever I was going through, but seeing my mother upset with me for my addiction was the everyday emotional hit at home. She never gave up on me all throughout my addiction period. She was always there to encourage me to stop taking drugs and think about the good bright future ahead.
A friend of mine who was also an ex-user who has gone through different kind of addiction once asked me a question; Do you know what these drugs doing to your body? I hated him when he asked me this question, and stayed afar with him. But I started taking that question seriously. Then when I was sobered by this question and seeing my mother’s unwavering faith, SAATHI helped me to overcome my addiction. SAATHI peer educators were always there to counsel me and encourage me. Teachers were willing to listen to my problems. I found it strange that even the principal was willing to tolerate my problems. It gave me a sense of relief and encouraged me to be stronger.
SAATHI helped me to quit even smoking. Now I chew tobacco 3-4 times a day, but I believe one must be self-motivated to get clean, and I need to start now, not tomorrow.
Otherwise, it will never happen.
I will continue to seek more help from SAATHI. I know they will listen and will arrange for counseling. I will ask them to visit my home and speak to my family. They too need to know about the issues at home. It will make me not go back into substance abuse and I can indeed look forward to a better tomorrow. My mother will be proud.