Administrator's Message!

Saurabh Malhotra

I underwent successful treatment at Juedishes Krankenhaus, Berlin, Germany regarding my Addiction to Prescription Drugs and Alcohol in November-93, and stayed there till January 94. After completion of my treatment I started working in field of Addiction in 1998. Between 1999 and 2001 I visited a Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre in Delhi a few times to get some people admitted as such a facility was not available in Dehradun. I saw their treatment module; I also get information about some other Addiction Treatment Centers of North India and about their treatment/therapy module. I had had a very pleasant experience during my stay while undergoing treatment in Berlin. We had spacious rooms, nourishing food including we had a choice of food, well structured and organized therapy sessions conducted by experienced and well mannered doctors, nurses, therapists and support staff. I also enjoyed the attention, care, handshakes, warmth and love given to me along with guidance. There was plenty of freedom along with discipline.

When I saw rehabilitation centre in Delhi and saw the jail like conditions present there I thought that his was the proper way to treat Addicts with total confinement, substandard food, strict consequences and punishments because I felt that treatment centers were very lenient in Europe and that strict discipline should be thrust upon addicts, also they deserved harsh words, sarcasm, threats, consequences and basic food as all their lives they had treated people badly, had hurt their loved ones so they deserved such consequences.

When we started with Nijaat in September 2002 I initiated certain measures such as not allowing addicts to leave before completion of four months with us, giving them basic food without considering the taste and nourishment aspect, long therapy sessions. As time progressed, a number of people who were not interested in staying with us began escaping by jumping over the campus boundary wall. Upon seeing the situation I initiated fencing of the boundary wall with barbed wire to deter people from running. But all these effects did not yield any results .Another aspect that emerged was that ones who did stay with us forcibly, an overwhelming majority of them resumed talking substance within a week of going back home. All these events made me unhappy and to an extent angry as to why were the people not responding to the treatment.

While undergoing emotional pain, I also started reflecting on my experience as a patient and realized that in our campus there was too much discipline and too little freedom. Therefore I started with process of becoming more caring being gentle and giving freedom .After seeing initial positive results, I was encouraged to take few more steps in becoming more gentler and brought in a few more changes which came in gradually such as nourishing meals, varied menu, visiting hours for families, installing a phone booth on campus, starting a well stocked library and setting minimum standards of care at our campus.

The most important decision which was taken collectively by the staff was that no client will be verbally or physically abused by the staff so other words every client will be treated with love, care and respect. The results of our change in attitude have been dramatic. The number of people coming to us for treatment has nearly doubled in 2008-2009 as compared to 2007-2008 and the number of people who have been able to abstain has quadrupled. All these positive changes constantly remind me of an old saying “Love given freely surely comes back with full return” As of now suffering addicts and alcoholics are referred to us by various persons including a majority of us being sent by our ex-clients who have faith in the treatment process of Nijaat.