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The Problem of Addiction in India

One thing is certain; the problem of addiction is increasing day by day in India. And it is a very disturbing trend. Alcohol has always had social acceptability in our society and is very common substance of abuse and the percentage of alcoholics has remained more or less the same, even though it is the most commonly abused substance by all strata of society. Youngsters start with beer and graduate to stronger stuff.

The next most abused substance in my opinion is weed or ganja. Marijuana is being made legal in more and more countries. Earlier, only Holland was the only country where it was legal. Now, Canada has made it legal and a few states in U.S. have made it legal even for recreational use. There is talk to make it legal even in India. Bhang thekas have been legal in many states in India. And it is possible to get weed or hash from these outlets. Marijuana has a very strong historical, cultural and religious association in India. But these days if you take a walk in the evenings, you are very likely to get a whiff of the smoke of Marijuana. The youth today is smoking it left, right and center. It has gained in social acceptability tremendously. Under the guise of being herbal or organic the concept of it being illegal is swept away. Every person who smokes is not an addict, just like every person who drinks is not an alcoholic. In fact if 100 people drink alcohol, only 12 of them are alcoholics. Similarly, if 100 people smoke marijuana, in my opinion, only 5 are addicts. They are people who continue to smoke even after experiencing adverse effects of Marijuana. Adverse effects can include Amotivation Syndrome and Cannabis Psychosis. Besides the fact that Marijuana is a gateway drug, which means that people who have tried smoking weed are more likely to experiment with other drugs.

The next area of concern is prescription drugs. Because they are available with the chemist and have a pharmacological function their harmful effect tends to minimized. The most common prescription which is abused in my opinion is cough syrups. The extent of cough syrup abuse is astonishing. The spectrum includes college students and even housewives. The active ingredient in cough syrups is codeine, which is made from opium. So, codeine is an opiate and codeine addiction is similar to opium addiction. Another commonly abused opiate is dextropropoxypene, which is the active ingredient of Spasmo-Proxyvon. Again, students and even people who have been prescribed by doctors get addicted to it. Sleeping tablets are also very commonly abused. They include Valium or Calmpose, Alprax, Ativan, Nitrest and a whole lot of other benzodiazapenes. A drug which is freely available with chemists and is very popular in China but for some reason has not taken off in the same way is Ketamine. Ketamine is used by vets and is used for dissociative anesthesia by doctors and is commonly used to cut cocaine by drug dealers. Since all the cocaine comes from South America and is very expensive, Ketamine is used in its place by many.

Another area of concern is designer drugs like Meow – Meow. Youngsters are getting smart and are using uppers and party drugs in abundance. They work hard through out the week and party hard on weekends. Most of them are only psychologically addictive like cocaine but addiction is likely to occur. These drugs are mostly used by the more affluent section of the society. Rave parties are another area where such drugs and drugs like Ecstasy are more often used. These drugs are mostly made in labs and newer and newer variants are constantly flooding the market. Because they are made in labs and are expensive there is no standardization and the quality and the adulterants vary a lot. The harmful effects are not only due to the drug but also due to the adulterants. These are very common in Metropolitan cities and are also called designer drugs.

Last but not the least is inhalants like thinner, petrol, balms like iodex etc. They are commonly abused by school children and rag pickers. Erasex which was most commonly abused earlier is not so readily available anymore, so people abuse the organic solvents like sulochan. Hazing can cause total liver cell failure besides damage to lungs.

With more affluence the drug use is increasing in India. The youth have no jobs. Punjab is a typical example where drug addiction is rampant.

The government needs to tackle this epidemic of addiction on a war footing.

De Addiction Method

Aspects of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

Drugs, everyone knows from day one, are bad news, even though marijuana is becoming legal in many countries now for medicinal as well as recreational use and even the social stigma in the younger generation is waning, but alcohol has always had a different connotation. Everybody drinks-it’s good for you, Right? But believe it or not, alcohol too is harmful and kills countless people in the world. It kills by two ways: by damaging the body, as we have detailed in the earlier blogs and by causing accidents, violence, suicides etc. The medicinal benefits of alcohol are virtually nonexistent. A little research has of course shown that alcohol, red wine in particular can be good for the health of your heart. It is ”supposed” to increase the good cholesterol and increase the antioxidant activity, BUT-and it is a big BUT-the benefits seen in that research might have been due to other factors, such as being physically active and eating a diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fats. Besides you can get the same benefits by drinking red grape juice-without any risk. If you want a healthy heart, there are many other things you can do: control your blood pressure, cholesterol and weight; eat a healthy diet and exercise. There is really no need to drink alcohol to get health benefits.

When friends and loved ones say that you have a drinking or drug problem and are after you to quit, it can be quite bothersome. Sometimes you think they might be right but most of the time you think that if they are wrong you will be giving up this stuff for nothing. Maybe you have a problem, maybe you don’t. Even if you DO have a problem, chances are that you will not be able to see it clearly. Self-deception is rampant in alcoholism and drug addiction. It is so, because it helps you escape a very unpleasant reality and you do not have to do any thing about it. It may not be easy to answer the question whether you ARE an alcoholic or a drug addict or not. One exercise you can do is write your life story listing all the problems in your life and your drinking and drug use. Be totally honest – even though that is a very tall order. List all the problems and how alcohol and drugs were responsible for those problems and how your life was affected by your use. Note opportunities missed, money spent or wasted, the impact on your family, job, friendships and other aspects of your life. Denial often keeps alcoholics and addicts from seeing the problems alcohol and drugs are causing, so rigorous honesty is required in doing this exercise. If your drinking or drug use is causing problems in your life, or if someone who cares about you believes it is, it could be time to entertain the idea that you might be an alcoholic or an addict.

Some people with certain illnesses  –  for example, cancer, alcoholism and addiction –  practice denial. It is not because they are stupid or bad or just plain pigheaded. They are genuinely unable to see the truth for what it is, and they deny the fact that they are ill to protect themselves from facing a fearsome and unpleasant reality. The cancer patient does not want to know about his or her illness out of fear of the unpleasant treatments that might be needed and even a greater fear of the consequences should the treatment fail. Similarly, the alcoholic or addict does not want to know about his condition because of the stigma attached to the conclusion and even a greater fear of having to give up their most trusted chemical support. Denial is a defense mechanism and as long as a person has denial he or she will be able to drink alcohol or use drugs till his or her dying days. It is a primitive mechanism – a self deception that is useful in the short time period but is extremely dangerous and destructive over the long term. This self-deception is common in alcoholism and addiction; your psyche knows that the behavior you are indulging in is self-destructive and not in your own best interest and is unacceptable at many levels coupled with a strong desire to continue using alcohol and other drugs.

Learning about alcoholism and addiction and the hope and happiness that treatment at Sahyog Detox and De addiction Center can help overcome denial and open the door to Recovery and that is why Sahyog is the Best De addiction Center in Delhi.

Harmful Effects of Alcohol

One blog is not sufficient to list all the Harmful Effects of Alcohol. This just goes to show how harmful this legal drug is. Most people who drink alcohol are social drinkers, in fact 88% of them are but a small minority are alcoholics and they need to stay away from it as they cannot enjoy and control at the same time. Social drinkers drink alcohol but know how much they are going to consume and even if their behavior gets changed it is minor but an alcoholic is not able to guarantee how much he is going to drink and how he is going to behave after drinking. Some change in behavior occurs even in social drinkers but in the case of an alcoholic it is quite drastic and apparent even after small quantities. As mentioned earlier, the main harmful effect of alcohol is on the liver and the condition which occurs is called cirrhosis of the liver. There are other causes of cirrhosis also but the one we are concerned is due to alcohol. It is also called Alcoholic Liver Disease. I had written about Portal Circulation and how it gets obstructed due to cirrhosis of the liver resulting in ascites. The most dangerous effect of obstruction of Portal Circulation is esophageal varices. The portal circulation and the systemic circulation interact with each other at six places. At the umbilicus, it results in caput medusae or the head of Medusa, which we know consisted of snakes. So the appearance is that of snakes underneath the skin which are nothing but coiled and tortuous blood vessels which have dilated as a result of increase in the pressure in the Portal Circulation. The systemic circulation and the portal circulation also meet at the rectum and the dilatation of blood vessels resulting from increase in pressure in portal system causes piles. At the base of the esophagus or food pipe also the portal and systemic circulations meet and this results in a very dangerous condition called esophageal varices. Varices refers to the worm like appearance on endoscopy. It really feels as if a bunch of earthworms is sitting at the base of the food pipe. When these burst it seems as if the liver has burst because the blood which comes out is clotted blood and is jelly like and the color is also like that of liver, thereby confusing people who think that pieces of liver are coming out. Whenever on endoscopy esophageal varices are seen they are banded so as to prevent them from bursting. If they burst it is an emergency and can be fatal if medical attention is not prompt and accurate. Another very dangerous combination is having difficulty in clotting of blood or coagulopathy. Along with cirrhosis it carries a very bad prognosis. The coagulation profile of the blood can be ascertained by doing a PTINR test or Prothrombin Time. There is one very important function of liver and that is activation of testosterone, the male hormone. As the name implies, it is made in the testes but reaches its active form by passing through the liver. Males are different from females because of this hormone. When there is cirrhosis of the liver, the testosterone activation is disrupted, resulting in the feminization of the males. There is testicular atrophy, loss of body hair, gynecomastia or breast formation in males and most importantly, impotence. Even in acute stages, alcohol always increases the desire for sex but decreases the performance and in chronic cases it causes impotence when the liver is affected to a great degree. The world functions because of two drives, hunger and the sex drive. Alcohol is such an insidious poison that it can affect both these drives. It can kill the appetite and finish the sexual drive totally.

All this is explained at Sahyog and that is why it is the Best De addiction Center in Delhi.

Best De addiction Center in Delhi

Sahyog Detox and De addiction Clinic is the Best De addiction Clinic in Delhi and beyond. At Sahyog proper treatment of alcoholism and addiction is undertaken. As part of treatment the patients are explained how their life has been out of control. Alcoholics and addicts develop tolerance, i.e., they get used to the effect of the substance and require more and more of it to produce the desired effect. Because of this tolerance and the pain and anger in their lives the addict starts to act out in more and more dangerous ways. Episodes of being out of control are very frightening for addicts because it confirms what they have suspected for a long time, that they are out of control. These episodes are followed by many promises to straighten out and never do it again and act right. The promises are made to convince themselves that they are in control or at least will be in future. And they act right for some time too but as soon as the guilt and shame recedes they are back to their old behavior. After crazy episodes of acting out the addict needs to make sense of what happened and he or she turns to his or her delusional system of belief or addictive logic. Using this the person is able to explain away what is happening. All addictive logic is based on protecting the addictive personality. Because of this delusional system it is very difficult if not impossible for addicts to see why they are hurting. They think other people don’t understand them or because life is so tough.

All this is taught at Sahyog and that is why it is the Best De addiction Center in Delhi and beyond.

Best De addiction Center in Delhi

Sahyog Detox and De addiction Clinic is the Best De addiction Center in Delhi. At Sahyog the patients are taught about the roots and causes of alcoholism and addiction.

Our society has a great influence on who we are and the issues we face as humans. All of us live within and are influenced by two major groups and cultures: our society and our families. We may not realize it but we imbibe many values that are consistent with addictive values.

Looking Out for Number One                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Our society is obsessed with number one. Being number two is not good enough. There is always the push to become number one. There is nothing wrong with striving and pushing ourselves to become better but in our society coming in first is valued. Being the best is prized above all else. As a society, we attach subtle shame to being anything less than number one. The truth is that all of us cannot be number one. Even those who are number one in some areas of their lives are not so in other areas. There is nothing wrong or shameful in being average but we  do not stress this in our society. The danger is that the obsession about being number one is an addictive value

Living for Outcome                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 As a society we are obsessed with outcomes. This is another addictive value. Addiction is all about the outcome. In this the process gets overlooked. If a person is not bothered about the process, he or she is overlooking or pushing his or her conscience aside. In pushing the conscience aside we learn to deny it. In learning denial one is learning how to be an addict. The way we achieve our goals is also important. So, it is how we act and not what we achieve is important. What matters is getting high, it doesn’t matter who gets stepped on.

Control                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Another addictive value that the society favors is control. We are expected to be in control at all times. An addict is a person who would rather be in control than being happy. Control is also about outcomes. If you are in control you should be able to control the outcome. To believe in absolute control is to chase an illusion. This will create pain within and around the person.

Perfection                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Another value that society fosters on us and is an addictive value is the belief in perfection. Society tells us to be perfect at any cost. Our obsession with the perfect body is an example of this. We don’t want to be healthy, we want to be perfect. Addiction is about chasing the myth of perfection, whether it is chasing the perfect body or chasing money. Some believe that any man should be able to make a lot of money. Perfection is a myth we use to beat ourselves and others. Striving to be perfect pushes us away from ourselves. It makes us machine like – beauty machine or money machine. The danger in chasing perfection is what happens to us when we realize that we are human, perfectly imperfect.

Lack of Genuine Relationships                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             We live in a fast paced, temporary society as a result there is a lack of emphasis on relationships. Relationships in our society seem to have taken a disposable quality.

Worshiping Objects                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We are encouraged to accumulate as many objects as we can. Status is attached to these objects. It becomes more convenient to have relationships with object rather than people. But object can’t meet intimacy needs can not be met by objects. All this contributes to addiction. We treat people like objects and have relationship with the substance.

So, unknowingly, our society pushes many towards addictive values and it is very important to understand this. All this is done at Sahyog and that is why it is the Best De addiction Center in Delhi.

Substance Abuse Treatment in Delhi

Best De addiction Center in Delhi

Sahyog Detox and De addiction Clinic is the Best De addiction Center in Delhi by far. It is the ONLY De addiction Center in Delhi if not the whole of India which is run by a doctor who himself had problems with alcoholism and addiction himself. This combination of a doctor and a recovering alcoholic and addict is to be found no where else. As a result of this we treat patients not only with our knowledge but also our experience.

As a part of therapy, the patients are taught to manage stress in non addictive ways, because stress is a big trigger for relapse. After treatment the patients have to face the painful realities of their lives. It is not as if they were not their earlier but because of using alcohol and drugs they were numb to it. During the early phase most have serious problems with spouse, family, friends or job. Awareness of these problems creates stress and they must learn to manage it or else they will relapse.

For this they have to learn non addictive problem solving strategies. Often they learn these strategies from being around others and watching what they do. When they are with someone for a long period of time they start doing things in a similar fashion without thinking much about it. As it is often said that if you bring your body to enough meetings and spend time with enough sober drunks, the program wears off on you.

Detoxification Centre in Delhi

Best De addiction Center in Delhi

Sahyog Detox and De addiction Clinic is the Best De addiction Center in Delhi and it is so because of many reasons. First and foremost is that at Sahyog we offer proper and complete treatment of alcoholism and addiction. The patients are encouraged to accept their addictive disease. Acceptance is the ability to think about what happened while they were drinking alcohol and using drugs without feeling any pain or discomfort. It is an emotional process that involves the resolution of shame, guilt and unresolved painful experiences that occurred during alcoholism and addiction. Many addicts and alcoholics carry these unresolved memories for a very long time. Most of time they feel fine but whenever they think or talk about their drinking or drugging days the pain, shame and guilt come back.

Many try to cope with those feelings by not thinking about the memories that produce them. This method works in the short run but eventually the feelings come back. These painful feelings can be resolved by working the 12 Step Program, undergoing counseling and therapy and learning to talk about the feelings that these memories cause. When they fully accept their addiction, their past alcohol and drug use no longer has the power to hurt them.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous clearly tells that they will know a new freedom and a new happiness, that they will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door upon it, that they will comprehend the word serenity and will know peace. In spite of their past history and all the pain and problems they have caused to themselves and others, they can know serenity and peace of mind.

Detoxification Centre in Delhi

Best De addiction Center in Delhi

Sahyog Detox and De addiction Clinic is the Best De addiction Center in Delhi by far. It is the only De addiction Center which is run by a doctor who himself had problems with alcoholism and addiction himself and is clean and sober today for more than 18 years. At Sahyog proper treatment of alcoholism and addiction is done. A part of treatment and therapy is to understand the role which alcoholism and addiction has played in the life of the alcoholic or addict. The addictive self forced them to change physically, psychologically, socially and spiritually. The Big Book call the disease “cunning, baffling and powerful”. The addictive self makes you believe things which are not true. The patients believe that the addictive self was their friend but in reality it was their enemy. They believed that the addictive self helping them but actually it was destroying them. They thought that the addictive self was helping them solve problems whereas it was actually creating problems. They thought that the addictive self would help them handle stress but the addictive self caused so much stress in their lives that it drove them to the point of collapse. The patients need to straighten out their thinking and see their addictive self for what it really is.

The first task which the patients have to do is write their life story. Chemical dependency operates within the context of their lifestyle. To understand how chemical dependency has progressed, it is important to understand and write the life story. Everything from childhood, school, work, social life and adult family history has to be written.

All this is done at Sahyog and that is why it is the Best De addiction Center in Delhi.

Best De addiction Center in Delhi

Sahyog Detox and De addiction Clinic is the Best De addiction Center in Delhi for many reasons but the foremost is that at Sahyog proper treatment of alcoholism and addiction is done. Different stages of recovery from alcoholism and addiction are explained to the patients. The major goal of early recovery is basically to change the attitude of the patient towards alcohol and drugs. The patients have to see what role addiction plays in their lives and they have to learn how to live life without chemicals.

As it is said in A.A. that it is a combination of two problems, thinking problem coupled with a drinking problem. The drinking problem refers to the use of alcohol and drugs that damage the body and mind and thinking problem refers to the irrational thoughts, unmanageable feelings resulting in unmanageable life and self defeating behavior. The focus in early recovery is correction of thinking problems that are associated with alcoholism and addiction. Recovery demands change. The change has to be at the conscious level as well as sub conscious level. We have a sober self and an addictive self. The whole idea of Recovery is to put the sober self back in charge.