I Choose Life- International Day Against Drug Abuse And Illicit Trafficking

Superintendent of the police crime branch, Kartik Kashyap’s opinion was that Goa’s situation for drug abuse is relatively far better than other places. He said, “You should be a better person than the one you were yesterday. My salute goes to all those who made that choice to come out (of their addiction).”

Some people’s lives are lived in a haze, craving for substances that are destroying their body and mental state. Drug abuse isn’t a joke- there are consequences. Bad consequences. To tackle this issue, The International Day Against Drug Abuse And Illicit Trafficking was held on June 26 at The Drug Treatment Clinic of District Hospital, Mapusa.
The theme for this year was ‘Let’s Develop Our Lives, Our Communities, Our Identities, Without Drugs’. The other theme was ‘Listen First’. Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe. A speaker, Geeta Kakodkar, said, “I’m very happy that we have started this Drug Treatment Clinic. We have to get society rid of this drug and alcohol problem.”

Public prosecutor, Sushma, explained how to detect if someone you know is taking drugs. These signs include sleepless nights, valuables are missing from the house, change in behaviour, etc. She said, “We have to start talking to the person and ask them what the reason behind it is. We shouldn’t neglect them.”

Dr Rajesh Dhume took over and started talking about different therapies like Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST) which helps stop drug addiction. OST doesn’t give the high but helps take care of withdrawal symptoms. Testimonials of patients were compiled in a film called ‘I Choose Life’ which was shown at the event. They spoke about what all they lost in their lives due to their addiction to warn other people not to repeat the mistakes they made.