| April 5th, 2007

* solace: a network for parents

Our recent discussions on Thoughts on Divorce at the blog brought out many poignant issues, and one of them was substance abuse among the younger generation. Substance abuse at parities in Dhaka. Photo Source: The Daily StarWe wanted to highlight the work of Solace“ an initiative by a parent whose children were diagnosed with substance abuse, now another parent who has joined the network to dedicate her time for parents of children with drug problems.

While you read and learn about the network and these amazing parents to support the recovering patients, I would request you to tell the readers what have worked or working when your life partner, friends, family is dealing with the abuse, or if you are a recovering patient we would like to know what have worked for you. You can be anonymous when you share your experience.

Solace: A Network for Parents

Nothing is more traumatic for parents than to see their children slowly slipping away due to drugs. They feel helpless and see no way to help their children recover. Drug users and addicts are shunned by our society as outcasts. This is a social problem, says Lubna Marium, a well-known dancer, now a grandmother of one. Drug users are not criminals. Everyone needs to talk about this problem, whereby addicts can thrive within a support system and eventually recover.

Shahidul Islam was devastated when both his sons had to be sent off to rehabilitation centres in Mumbai after being diagnosed with drug problems. For the past few years, he has read up on the subject and talked to a lot of people and found out that he was not the only one with this problem. There are many families in the city who are in denial or assume that their addicted children will be ok once they let go of the substance. This is not right. He says. “We need to know what’s going on with our children and also need to talk about it.” That’s when Islam founded Solace, a network for parents of children with drug problems. The network is now overseen by both Islam and Lubna.

Lubna explains that all addicts under treatment are termed as ‘recovering patients’ all throughout their lives. Theoretically, there is no such thing as a fully recovered patient, she says. Even if a patient stays away from drugs for a couple of years or more there is always a chance to slip up, which also happens to be a part of the whole recovering process. Mother of the famous singer Anusheh Anadil of the band Bangla and also a recovering patient, Lubna has been dealing with these problems first hand for years. I had sent my child from one psychiatrist to another in Dhaka, she says. However, none of them had special training on rehabilitation which is absolutely necessary. They would give Anusheh lots of pills and more medicine to get over her depression and drug problem. According to both Lubna and Islam, recovering patients are not supposed to be given even sleeping pills. In fact, anything that can be a cause for addiction is avoided, explains Islam. In many cases even gambling is strictly forbidden. The point here is to make sure that the recovering patients do not get into any kind of addiction whatsoever, since there is a chance for the original addiction to take over the patient.

Not all families prefer to come out into the open, so Islam had figured that a phone network would also work well. That was when he approached one of the leading telecom companies in the country, Grameen Phone, and asked them to provide with phone hotlines, where concerned parents could call and talk about the problems. Families start to disintegrate once children start going through drug problems, says Islam. Parents of addicted children call the hotline numbers 24 hours a day and talk about the problems that they face at home. They have even started to meet at least once a month to discuss about their problems and look for alternative ways of solving their problems. Most of the callers always turn out to be mothers, explains Lubna, who along with Islam counsels through one of the hotline numbers. Mothers are the target in most cases, she smiles. They get the blame from their families, husbands even their children sometimes for the drug problems that the child is going through. Many a time I have had mothers crying on the phone for help since her child won’t listen to her. That’s when I get Anushe to help me out. It is natural for a recovering patient to relate to another recovering patient.

Families whose children are going through severe drug problems can contact Shahidul Islam and Lubna Marium on the following hotline numbers: 01713060001 and 01713060002. Â

Source: Solace; A Network for Parents


About this blog

Adhunika blog is launched with a mission to share knowledge among women from every walk of life. Sometime it would be in the form of sharing experience to find a feasible solution of a problem; sometime it would be in the form of professional consultation, which Adhunika group will arrange for its bloggers. Nevertheless, the intent of this blog always remains the same - to help and empower women through a common web-based platform....read more



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