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Born in a conservative family and raised on morals & ethical values, Anand* was expected to be responsible & caring. At school, he excelled at sports and in particular, made a name for himself as a high jumper. To represent India was his dream & goal. He worked hard and passing out of school, he was #1 in his first year in college. His company of friends grew during the 2nd year and time spent in socializing and chit-chats.

During one such carefree moment, he was persuaded to try ‘brown sugar’ by his peers. Before he knew it, he was taking the drug slowly and regularly. In his 3rd year of college, he was completely hooked. Studies were discarded. To sustain his drug induced lifestyle, Anand took to working. Sadly, he could not hold onto a job consistently for more than 3months at a time.

His need for the drug became acute, the toll became too high and stressful within the family and after several warnings from them, he was thrown out of the house. Alarmed at the situation and wanting to reform himself, he visited treatment centres to detoxify himself as well as mental institutions for correction. Without much progress, his habit became more widespread & public.

With a false sense of confidence, he thought he was outside the long arm of the law. Sadly one day, he was named as an accomplice by another offender and found himself in jail, the one place he was sure he would be away from. To his surprise & shock, he saw inmates using drugs within the confinement of jail.  Bailed out, he resolved to keep away from the illicit lure of drugs. Away from home and shunned by family & friends, he even slept on park benches! Yet the love for drugs did not come to an end though the pain became intolerable…

Part 2 on the 1st of our Real Life story continues. Stay tuned!

(Name changed to protect the privacy of the individual & his family)

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