A Second Chance at Life for Drug Addicts in Himachal Pradesh

A Second Chance at Life for Drug Addicts in Himachal Pradesh
A de-addiction drug centre in Himachal Pradesh, ‘Savera Foundation’, is providing a chance for drug addicts to turn a new leaf with the help former addicts.
Run by a voluntary organisation, the foundation offers a counselling course to drug addicts that help them to kick off the extremely dangerous habit.

Arvind, a former drug addict and administrative head of the Savera Foundation, says the addicts feel more comfortable to share their feelings with another addict.

"We feel that if we can overcome this and lead a successful and peaceful life then they can do this as well. We try to treat them through the experience of others," added Arvind.

The centre does not keep the inmates confined, but provides them with a congenial atmosphere where they participate in sports, dance, reading and a plethora of other activities.

That is one of the biggest reasons why the centre has success rate of 74.7 per cent.

A reformed addict Alok said, "My life is better now, I have everything now - family, money and happiness. I don't think that I need anything else in life and this is all because of the Savera Foundation."

Himachal Pradesh, a major tourist destination for its spectacular view of Himalayan peaks and picturesque valley, has turned in to a major drug centre in the country.

Lured by a chain of drug traffickers, small local farmers and villagers grow cannabis to earn a fast buck.

According to social activists, easy availability of cannabis, liquor and other chemical drugs are driving youngsters and unemployment to drugs.

India has the world's largest area under legal opium cultivation used for pharmaceutical industry, with about 130,000 farmers engaged in it.

In 2001, India produced 726 metric tons of opium from 19,393 hectares planted with opium poppy.


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