Singtam Senior Secondary School, East Sikkim.

I am Tom, a student from the Singtam Senior Secondary School, Sikkim. In class seven, I had a cousin who was into substance addiction. I was introduced to substance by him, we use to smoke cigarette and one day he gave me marijuana to smoke after trying it, I felt like trying again so whenever we meet we smoked weed. This is how my addiction journey started, by the age of 17, me and my cousin, we were curious to try other substance so we had SP it was a different feeling, and I stay high for more hours unlike weed.

My family was always in the problem, we were shifting from one place to another because we could not pay the rent, my brother who was into alcohol addiction creates problem every day and it was a daily thing that goes on at home. It was a frustrating scene to look at, so after class I go to market every day to meet my friends, spend time with them, smoking and using substances. All my friends were school dropouts, they were all elder to than me, when I run out of cash they always gives me stuffs like weed and tablets.

Consuming SP became boring, I was not enjoying much, my friends gave me Nitrogen 10 to try and I felt good after consuming it, and I got addicted to it. I was caught for several times in school for smoking, and in getting caught for smoking and caught under the substance influence in the class. My classmates who are peer educators of SAATHI gave me counseling and I went for camping, organized by SAATHI, now I am undergoing the counseling from SAATHI teacher coordinator and trying my best to leave the entire substance one step at a time. I’ve decided to stay free from the drugs and it will be possible with the help from SAATHI.

******** Disclaimer: Names of the students have been changed in order to assure confidentiality.

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