Iam Sandeep (name changed to protect identity) – a 24-year-old fitness trainer in Bengaluru. I was in Std. 9th and nursing my first break up, when my friends offered me a drink.
I felt better and slowly before I knew what I was getting hooked to, I was drinking away my sorrow. But I had a problem of hiding my addiction and my bad breath from my parents. They are simple people and could smell me from a mile.
I used to drink so much that I would black out. I started staying over at my friends place but then how long could I go on like this? There were times, when I spent the night on the streets and returned home really late.
To my good luck my friends introduced me to weed and I started doing pot, which made me feel happy. It drove away my blues and I was smiling. My eyes would turn red but family didn’t suspect anything really.
Slowly my friends circle became big and more people began pitching in to buy drugs. Each of us would pool in Rs 500 to 600 and we had a bouquet of drugs to use.
There were magic shrooms (mushrooms) from Kodaikanal, which were laced with drugs. The need to be on a trip was so strong that before I knew I began peddling drugs to source my drugs. I was snorting coke and one gram of coke would cost me Rs 6,000.
I was happy doing 10 different drugs – LSD, shrooms, meth, coke (cocaine), ketamine, crystal meth, speed, TMT, MDMA and nitrogen tablet.
My world was spinning away from reality. It was a world of dark fantasies. I lost connection with people and everything looked so distant and remote. I had stopped listening. I couldn’t connect with my parents.
I was vomiting blood but I didn’t tell parents for fear of being found out. I used to intentionally talk nonsense at home and they thought that I was suffering from mental illness. They took me to psychiatrists and prayed at temples.
Drugs numb you as a person. There are no emotions or feelings, when you are high on drugs. They strike you only when the kick reduces but you are too weak a person to face reality and that’s when you again do drugs to escape from the reality.
I had gotten myself into the trap. I preferred drugs to my parents. I had dropped out of college and my father asked me to work in a BPO. I gave my parents half the salary and with the other half I did drugs.
I left home on several occasions and went to Himalayas and Goa, where I met with a bad accident. I was too embarrassed to return home. It was somewhere then that I realized that my friends had managed to go ahead with their lives and I was stuck in a rut. I felt trapped and attempted suicide.
My mother asked me to join a rehab and one day I walked into one near the Bengaluru Central jail, where the Narcotics Anonymous (NA) was holding a meeting.
NA brought me back on tracks. It gave me back my life. It’s an unconditional support group of drug addicts, who have come clean. The group meets at various locations for an hour every day. January 2019 I will complete three years of staying clean thanks to NA.
(Narcotics Anonymous can be contacted on 988 059 0059 and Bengaluru NA meeting list is available on na.org)