“I smoked my first joint at the age of 15 with my school friends out of curiosity. I did that because my friends were doing it. It was at college where I was introduced to other drugs, and I started taking pills and cough syrup on a regular basis. These medicines were readily available in pharmacies. In the second year, I was using brown sugar, followed by drug injection. After this, I started using any kind of drugs I could get my hands on. This was around 1999-2000 till 2006. With my addiction, I tarnished my social image, I was left behind in my education, and the road went downhill from there. It was then that I realized I needed help, and I approached my parents for the same. My addiction to all kind of drugs started to show consequences on my health.With my ruined image and financial damages, and the consequences that came with addiction, it was during 2006 that I went to one rehabilitation center, where I stayed for about 10 months. My addiction relapsed within a week.
And the treatment cycle began—I stayed at rehab for some time, felt sober, and then I was again back to taking drugs—the cycle was vicious. This went on for about 10 years, but there was no substantial sign of improvement. My parents started losing hope on me. It was their last attempt that they decided to take me to Narconon Nepal. My treatment and stay at Narconon Nepal disrupted the course and changed me completely. After this, I came out clean. The stay not only helped me to come out of drugs, but gave me a positive outlook towards life. I had come to this stage after lot of failed attempts. This made me realize that just trying wasn’t enough. Bringing change in one’s lifestyle was very important. I lost everything when I was addicted to drugs, and the only thing that remained with me was the immense support of my parents. I am thankful to Narconon Nepal and my parents, it is due to their continuous effort that I have come through and am alive today.
Today, I firmly believe that drug addiction is an obsession of the mind, craving of the body, and starvation of the soul. And, one alone cannot defeat this demon by himself, he needs help from professionals. The first step for me was to admit that I had a problem, and that helped me in taking the right steps towards a drug free life. Drugs and alcohol addiction take you to places you never want to be and will always harm you and everyone around you. I am clean for six years now. Finally, being able to lead a drug-free life is so much calmer and satisfying for me. I never imagined life would be this beautiful without drugs, and the most important thing is, I have found myself back. It gave me an opportunity to work and help people who have the same problem as mine. Currently, I love what I’m doing, and this helps to keep me motivated to move forward as a drug free person.”
This is the success story of Deep Rayamajhi, a previous drug user who completed his treatment and graduated from Narconon Nepal, a rehabilitation center in Kathmandu, and the only Narconon center in South Asia. He came out clean after battling with drug addiction for over a decade. It has already been six years that he is clean, and now he works as the coordinator at Narconon Nepal to help people come out of their addiction.
There are many such stories associated with Narconon Nepal. A 12-year-old boy fell into drug addiction. As he grew older, his father had a heart attack on knowing that his kid has become an addict. His mother had to leave the country after going through constant abuse from her child. She left him under the guardianship of her sister and got settled in America. There were no signs of improvement in the kid, and his health deteriorated. Later, they got him married, thinking that having a new life would change him. It didn’t work, either. His mother came to know about Narconon Nepal from TV, so she approached them. By then, the kid was already 25-26, and he wasn’t in good health and mental condition. After joining the rehabilitation center, he was on the road to recovery. In due course, he recovered. He then went abroad to see his mother and was united with the family.
Narconon Nepal has many success stories like this. There was this troubled mother with her kid. His father was in the military abroad. With age, the kid started to become aggressive and abusive. This left his mother scared and depressed. He was very abusive and used to beat her, so she had to hide from him. One day, while hiding at her neighbor’s place, she came to know about Narconon Nepal and decided to get him admitted there. The same kid, later on, became a chef and did well in the hospitality business here and abroad. According to Mr. Basanta Kunwar, National Executive Director of Narconon Nepal, the problem of drug addiction is real in the global scenario, and Nepal is not far away from this. Drug addiction leads to damage of one’s life and affects the people around them, and crime arises because of this. It was one of the reasons why the former SSP of Nepal Police dedicated his life to raise awareness among his native people and people worldwide. Post retirement after over 27 years of service, Mr. Kunwar devoted his life to raising awareness and educating people to protect the youth and control crime. For this, he started massive drug education programs in schools and colleges. His devotion and activities were noticed by Narconon International America, and later it came forward to support him.
Drug addiction is becoming a global epidemic. There are about six lakh people who are exposed to drugs, and two lakh who need immediate medical attention, in Nepal. Every year, about 85,000 new cases are added, according to Mr. Kunwar. Along with educating people, he started devoting his energy to rehabilitate the youth for successful integration into society. He initially founded Ashara Rehabilitation Center, and later on, Pratigya Foundation. He had used conventional methods then. With constant effort, he searched for new and better ways. During this process, he found out that Narconon provided university courses and better methods to treat addiction, and their course included one to be ethical, productive, and stable. After successfully gaining a license from the organization, he opened his center. However, it was a herculean task, as there were certain requirements to build infrastructure, such as adequate space, an adequate number of staff, and procedures.
Mr. Kunwar plans to have female students in future, but shares that keeping female students is very challenging in terms of infrastructure, and it needs a very dedicated team for the same. Social integration also comes with challenges. There are 42 centers of Narconon all over the world, Narconon Nepal being one of the biggest in Asia. But, he insists that the government should work further to protect the youth, who are to shape the nation in the future. Two lakh people need medical attention currently, and the available centers can accommodate only five thousand. This discrepancy may bring further issues in the health of the needy. It is equally important to educate both children and parents about the consequences of getting into illicit drugs. We see parents very worried about their child’s career choices, similarly, it is as important for the parents to have that knowledge and keep their children away from drugs.
The commonly abused drugs in Nepal are marijuana, brown sugar, dendrite, and cocaine. He reveals that drug dealers mostly target school- and college-going students from class eight to high school. Almost 70% of those who are into drug abuse falls into this category. Dealers make them an easy target and tell them that they are likely to get benefitted by using drugs. Initially, they are given drugs for free, and when they become habituated and can’t live without them, they are asked to get money, or introduce their peers to drugs.
The program was brought here back in 2004. With 85% of success rate, Narconon Nepal is located at Budhanilkantha. There are four areas that they emphasize on for the rehabilitation process:
Health: While taking drugs, a person is more focused on its availability, rather than what the drug is doing to his health. It is important to diagnose if there are any other ailments along with the addiction. This makes the path to recovery easier.
Mind: When a person becomes an addict his/her mind becomes dull and there’s no perceivance. There’s no decisive power. Therefore, it is important to bring that calmness in the mind and behavior.
Character: Such people become undisciplined easily and lose decisive power. He or she can commit wrongdoings that can be detrimental both to them and to those around him.
Prevention from relapse: There are chances of relapse in such cases when there’s repetitive environment, or the circumstances that has pushed them to take drugs. In six-nine months of stay, students not only learn life skills, they are also rewarded with certificates as Narconon graduates, which help them to get work in any Narconon center in the near future.
The services are affordable, and the treatment methods used include:
Withdrawal: This process encourages one to leave drugs. Take history of what the student has taken before and have them vow to leave this in future.
Drug education: This step includes getting education on drugs and its effects on the individual.
Detoxification: Drug use greatly affects an individual’s dietary behavior and compromises their nutritional status. Students are treated with anti-drug pills and vitamins.
Life skills: They are taught what is right and what is wrong. Drug usually diminishes perceivance, and one doesn’t know what is right or wrong. Life skills and moral values are also taught.
Narconon Nepal is the only Narconon reform program in South Asia that offers the Narconon program developed by humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard. It has the prospect of treating people from all over south Asia.