When serious problems arise from the disease of addiction, the whispers and fears of the family begin to turn into reality. When the threads of their life begin to crumble and the drunkard still does not stop drinking, they stare at him with stone eyes. After being completely helpless in front of Blanosh, they start searching here and there for answers to their questions. Over the past 33 years of helping families of drug addicts, I have learned that families do not seek help until a real crisis arises. People advise them that unless the patient is willing to heal himself, you can’t help him. Dr Sadaqat Ali is Project Director of Turning Point. He is a prominent drug expert of the country. His name is the most prominent in the treatment of addiction in Pakistan. After completing his MBBS from Dow Medical College, Karachi, he pursued higher education in addiction treatment from Hazelden, Minnesota, USA.
So far, thousands of drug addicts have been cured by him. It’s an outdated idea that recovery is only possible after being ruined, which is keeping families affected by addiction in the dark. I don’t know why people keep thinking that their patient will be on the road to recovery just by touching the bottom? They do not stop for a moment to consider how much they are punished for being stuck in this idea. No drug addict makes this journey towards depravity alone, families are also ruined, along with wheat, chaff is also crushed, and the lives of innocent children are also destroyed on these paths of destruction. Being forced to think like this makes some sense, assuming from the beginning that the patient will call for help if he is ruined, is not a proper thing, it is useless to expect welfare from ruin. The idea that pain will awaken the patient’s consciousness is a manifestation of torture.
It is advisable to present a little loss to the patient with the ability to exchange ideas and the beautiful use of words in such a way that he becomes ready to say a little more, accept a little loss more and get help. Addiction creates new opportunities for families to take advantage of to help the patient. There is a need for families to learn to recognize and capitalize on these opportunities through effective counselling. Behind waiting for the patient to fail is the belief that as soon as he falls into depression, he will either give up drugs or run away to a drug treatment center. The thought is impossible and the jinn! Addicts are addicted to their tunes. They gracefully glass people and use them for their own intoxication. They often get into trouble and get away with exploiting people. People suspect their actions but they don’t let their plight be known. Whenever they are stuck in a problem, the drugs give a reassuring message in their ears, “Don’t worry, I’m fine!”
One time I was having dinner with some ‘friends’ recovering from alcoholism. One of them was on his fifteenth anniversary of recovery from addiction. The good man was telling his story of how he used alcohol and other drugs for many years in a small dirty room full of insects. His life was exemplary but he could not stop himself from using drugs for a long time. Before treatment, he almost died several times. A gentleman sitting on my right said to him, “Enough! You weren’t ready! Another gentleman said, “Time is a matter of time, all was not lost yet.” They said, “It was just a matter of luck.” Everyone nodded and I was stunned. Friends eating right and left me, chatting merrily, thinking that it was necessary to lose a few beautiful years of this good man’s life for recovery? I asked him, “Where was your family when you were immersed in the world of drugs?” He replied, “My wife had taken the khula and the children never looked back!” They did well, in a way, I was not even worthy to be called a father! “I asked, “What if your family and friends came together to bring you a concrete recovery plan? Would you accept help with love and respect? Was it possible that you would have got rid of addiction soon and there would have been a better situation for your wife and children? Maybe the relationship between husband and wife would be safe?” He looked into my eyes for a moment and said, “I never thought of this aspect before! Who would have prospered by accepting their help, maybe my family would have been saved from being scattered!” I could clearly see the tears swimming in his eyes.
Here’s the thing to think about: Does timely family intervention make a difference? Absolutely. If television commercials change our ways, then step-by-step family strategies, guided by an expert, can also be effective. Does it ever happen that after falling into the lows of alcohol, one comes back strong and touches the heights? Of course it will happen, but we don’t know who among them will be lucky enough to save his life and at what cost? Every day in Pakistan, 200 people fall to the ground after falling into the abyss, countless go to jail, become insane or have nowhere to live. Families are torn apart, children lose a mother or a father or both. Relationships fade forever, but some begin a journey of recovery. Although this path is difficult, it gets easier as you go on. Many things play an important role in the recovery of the patient, but the role of family and friends is eternal.
More than three decades have passed, Sadaqat Clinic has witnessed day and night that the families and friends of the patients play a very important role in bringing about the miracle of recovery and prosperity in the lives of the patients. 77% came through the efforts of family and friends, while 23% were those whose lamp of recovery in their lives was lit by the troubles gathered around them and the pain rising from within them and they went for treatment.I have heaps of stories to open the eyes of those waiting for a cure.
A 47-year-old divorced, foreign-educated father of three who lives in the servant’s quarters of his own house, is always under the influence of alcohol and smoking hashish cigarettes, his family does not tolerate him. I also know a 24-year-old man who left his girlfriend poor, even selling her car and saying it was lost. The girl fell silent after crying, the shadow of the disease of addiction also falls on him. The police rushed a 72-year-old man to the hospital after finding him half-naked at the door of his own house. As soon as he regained consciousness, he disappeared from the hospital. The disease of addiction closes doors for treatment. A father with three children was wandering around in search of alcohol. The children wanted to go straight home from school but the father was asking the driver to go here and there in search of liquor until the children started crying loudly. A 52-year-old female officer got drunk and put a mother and daughter under the car and did not even look back. Both of them gasped and died. The woman spent three days in police lock-up, a case of accidental accident was registered, the case of drunkenness was dismissed, you know how? A young man who returned from a drunken party fell face down on the bed and swallowed his own vomit and died of asphyxiation. One of his brothers died a year ago after inhaling a large amount of heroin.
All these stories belong to families whose traumas and sufferings cannot be found in the dictionary. It would be cruel to wait for an unseen ruin for addicts to recover or agree to treatment. Many sufferings are temporary, but when the destruction in the life of addicts continues, they are not willing to give up addiction. If trouble comes to their head, sometimes they give up drinking temporarily, but as soon as things cool down, drinking and feeding starts again. The drug-affected mind does not recognize addiction as the root of the problem, if the crisis subsides, if the pressure is removed, alcohol becomes a “best friend” and addiction comes out in its ugly form and stands in the heart of the addict. Addiction plays a very important role. The patient turns to addiction in every difficulty, so in a way he considers addiction to be God. However, it is also true that people suffering from addiction and other addictions do not want to hurt their loved ones, they want to maintain high qualities within themselves, and they just cannot do it.
Many times they do not understand their actions. As soon as addiction dominates their lives and troubles start to surround them, they try their best to keep the vehicle of life going but no one is able to cope with the disease of addiction and it is one after the other. Others get stuck in trouble. Big and small problems surround them. Bad moods, rash decisions and emotional ups and downs are all signs of the disease of addiction, which breaks the mind and shakes the soul. Families remain confused. They do not know exactly what is happening to their loved one? It often comes out of their mouths that when will it be fixed? But addicts do not recover on their own because the addiction continues to take its toll on them and they are forced to give up and seem helpless. When I look into the minds of addicts, I see them in this half-bun.
“I don’t understand my own behavior, what I do I don’t really want to do.” I keep doing something I hate. The good deeds I want to do do not happen to me and the bad deeds I do not want to do, I do them. What is the last resort of an alcoholic patient after crying to correct this open contradiction of words and actions and to solve this mystery? Another jam! Drugs, alcohol and other addictions destroy the peace and tranquility of homes. People suffering from addictions do not take the first step towards reformation themselves, it is carried by those who love them. The treatment decision emerges from the healthy minds around the patient. Drug abuse makes you sick and helpless. This disease is devastating. However, rest assured it is treatable. There are many ways to recover from drug, alcohol and other addictions.
Not everyone needs admission, if the addiction starts, the patient does not have to come to treatment, families can help their loved one recover from addiction through training. If the addiction stage is established, the patient has to come outdoors. If the disease is very old, admission is necessary. It is our responsibility to explain to you how to create desire and passion for treatment in the patient. Sadaqat Clinic is an unparalleled addiction treatment center, where clients unleash their creativity and rebuild their lives. The miracle you waited for is now waiting for you.