Addiction, De-addiction and No Relapse—A Success Story

From the Village of Kumbephal, we have a student – Ashish Baliram Ghadge of 7th standard who is the most pampered in his family; family consists of only the son and mother. His mother loves him and cares for him beyond measure, as she says “he is everything I have”. She gives him the liberty to engage in activities which are meant for his betterment and welfare. His mother’s another reason for pampering him as he is my only son and he is without a father, so I must do my best to not let him feel he lacks father’s love and affection. The responsibility of the house and the expenses of him and his mother are managed by their relatives or extended family members. As mentioned before, he is a student of 7th grade; he became addicted to substances a year ago i.e. when he must have been in 6th; this led to him being very quiet in classes and in school which was observed by his principal and teachers. The CORO team had an agenda of visiting the school & that was – selecting 2 children for training, when the team had put forth their agenda in front of the principal and teacher, they said “please don’t select Ashish, don’t take him because no other children will listen to him or learn from him, he can be a negative influence on other children who will come there for learning, also whatever you teach him or the other students there in the training, he will not tell us his learning’s.” After that, Ashish spoke “I am willing to come with you, but please ask my mother, she must grant permission”. The team later went to his house, met his mother and asked her whether or not can Ashish come for the training? She said he can if you as CORO are willing to take responsibility of my son. The team nodded ‘Yes’.

He came to the workshop with us. The workshop was intended to teach the children about their rights and meaning of ‘development’ for the children. They learnt about their rights and got to know what development actually means for children and adolescent students…hence when Ashish came back from the training/workshop he discussed in his school and village, his cumulative learning from the training. The team also told him about children/adolescents who are addicted to substances, they also need to be informed from you- but at that time he kept quiet.

He did a complete presentation in his school about the aspects that were covered in the workshop, the teachers really felt glad and were very proud him, they appraised him and the change that has come in him. His teachers called him a ‘leader’. They even said that other children listen to him and he now proves to be a positive influence. He has even mentioned about how children/adolescents get addicted to tobacco/other drugs and consumes it, he gave his example and established that he doesn’t consume tobacco/other drugs now, two children were convinced by his individualistic success story and they also left consuming tobacco/other drugs. While he was mentioning about the rise of tobacco/other drugs addiction amongst children, he said that it is wrong and it can have negative repercussions later, therefore we must make efforts to de-addict ourselves from the tobacco or any other drugs. He has even encouraged two of his friends to stop eating tobacco/other drugs. He has all in all, made a difference in 4 people. Ashish’s family members also feel that he has changed a lot, and the change is positive. His mother has told his teachers that “Ashish has now become brave and courageous, as he himself has overcome an addiction and made it a success by not spiralling down in relapse, which has caused him to be confident also”. He talks to everyone confidently, courageously and his prudence guides his communication wherein he is able to differentiate between right and wrong or any space beyond right and wrong. In fact, now he is the one who takes initiative and mobilizes adolescents for meeting.