From Drugs to Rock n Roll


By Furquan A Siddiqui

 

“I liked my first high, the best high that I never felt or experienced ever,” recalls Danny, a middle aged drummer from a band named ‘Sahara’, remembering his first experimentation with drugs.

Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that majority of the HIV/AIDS infection in youth is the consequence of drug abuse through the reuse of medical syringes. In India, primarily in metros and North-eastern regions, drug use is the major cause of the magnitude of this epidemic.

Freddy Valtea a resident of Mizoram started using the substance at 14. “I had tried quitting like 7-8 times before I ended up here. I even tried switching to different substances, but it didn’t work. Heroin addiction is so tough to get over.”

According to United Nations International Drug Control Program (UNDCP) report, there are about one million registered heroin addicts in India, and unofficially the number is estimated to be five million.

The number of rehabilitation centres in India for people suffering from HIV is very few. Realising the situation after being unable to find such a centre for his brother, Neville Selhore started Sahara Care Centre.

“In India, it’s more about the moral being of a person that is at scrutiny. People believe that if you have HIV you have done something ‘naughty’. But that isn’t the case most of the time,” offers Urvashi Gandhi, Manager Education & Training, Breakthrough, a human rights organization.

India has the third largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS. According to an estimate by NACO 2.27 million people are infected.

67 year old Joe, who has given up drugs, is a vocalist. He has recorded with Sony many times. He says, “I lost many years of my life to heroin. Although now I’m quite successful, I regret losing everything.”

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~ by furquansid on December 1, 2010.

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