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‘I don’t want any other women to go through the pain and suffering I have endured’

Her untold stories of pain and suffering can never be matched by those portrayed by the best actresses in a film.

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Imphal: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive,” said famous African American Howard Thurman. Yet, for Oinam Binita, the inconceivable torment and suffering which she endured whilst her husband was a drug addict made her launch the drug rehabilitation centre, for, she never wished any other women to go through the pain as she did.

Sharing her story with The North East Affairs, Binita, the founder of the Foundation House, Drug Addiction and Rehabilitation Centre, at Oinam Saombung, said the endless abuse a wife suffers at the hands of a drug-addict husband can be understood only by those who have experienced it first hand. Its effects have far-reaching consequences, not only for the family, children and also for the society at large either indirectly or directly. With an aspiration and hope of giving succour to these sufferings, she and her husband finally took the decision to start a drug addiction centre, she narrated.

Binita, now the mother of two young boys, said when she married an addict husband, her whole life turned upside down as he never thought about the family, never shouldered any responsibility as a husband and a father. He only had eyes for drugs. This not only lowered her dignity as a human being but also created a huge communication gap between them. There were times when she had uncountable sleepless nights without a morsel of food even after she had cooked the food. Her untold stories of pain and suffering can never be matched by those portrayed by the best actresses in a film, she said, turning her moist eyes to her husband sitting a little distance away.

Despite her endless agonies and misery, she said, her life has become much better now, if not perfect, as her husband has stopped using drugs and is now fully involved in running the drug rehab centre, she laughed.

According to the 2019 Magnitude of Substance Use in India survey conducted by National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) of Delhi and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, there are around 22.4  percent of people in Manipur that have reported consuming alcohol, which is about one-fourth of the total 30 lakh populations. Among this 3.8 percent, which is about 40 thousand people, cannot just leave the use of alcohol.

However, there could be well over one lakh drug users in Manipur if one adds all those injecting users in the state, which is about 34,334, said Lalit Sapam, chief functionary of the Holistic Vista Substance Use Disorder Treatment Centre.

There are around 52 privately-run drug rehabilitation centres in the state and thousands of drug users are getting treatment on an everyday basis. But this doesn’t mean that they will definitely get cured from these centres, said Lalit. Nevertheless, he added, if one fully follows the teaching of psycho education, a normal life can be still restored without much hurdles. He also cautioned that one should be fully aware of the rehab centres before they got admitted.

On other hand, the Therapeutic Community Treatment (TCT)  which is now being applied by many privately run drug rehab centres is the best form of treatment model, Sarungbam Arun, chief functionary of Right Living Deaddiction Centre, Mayang Imphal told The North East Affairs.

The TCT is a recognized treatment model worldwide. This has restored hundreds of drug users to normal life in Manipur and can be more useful and advanced if the state government joined hands with those privately run institutions, Arun added.

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