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Treatment and counselling camp held for substance abusing adolescents

By BIS Tiruchi
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Tiruchy, Apr. 18. DB JANANAM, the de-addiction ministry of the Tiruchy Salesian Province organized a ten day camp in Tiruchi, from 8-17 April, 2015, for substance abusing adolescents. This first ever treatment camp for substance abusers in the province was conducted in collaboration with St. Ann's Sisters of Luzern (SAL sisters) and the Karunai Illam of CMI Fathers. Six adolescents participated in the camp, of whom 5 came through Don Bosco Anbu Illam, Salem, and 1 came through Don Bosco Anbu Illam, Coimbatore.
The two rehabilitation centres for children and youth, at Salem and Coimbatore, had identified more than 20 adolescents badly addicted to inhalants and other drugs, but only 6 of them opted to take part in the camp. The Anbu Illam staff found it a big challenge to get the children motivated to attend the treatment camp.

After the conclusion of the first such camp, the coordinating team felt that they were indeed fortunate to have a small group, as each child needed a lot of individual attention. The boys were mainly addicted to inhalants, but all of them manifested multi-substance dependence syndrome, maximum being five different substances, including alcohol, smoking, and chewing tobacco. All those treated were school dropouts as well as child labourers.

The treatment was organised in a full-fledged hospital with  a consultant psychiatrist and de-addiction counsellor. Fr. John Dharman the Director of DB JANANAM and Fr. Jude Muthuselven the Asst. Director accompanied the children all through the camp days. The treatment included physical and psychiatric consultations and medicines, de-addiction counselling, awareness creation through many multimedia inputs, Pranic Healing, Laughter Therapy and methods of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).

The children were visited by AA (Alcoholic Anonymous) and NA (Narcotic Anonymous) members, who shared with the children their childhood addiction experiences, thus motivating them to give up drugs and lead a healthy and happy life without drugs. The camp was visited also by  Fr. Amal, Coordinator of the Youth at Risk (YaR) commission of the Tiruchi province and Fr. David Ryan, Rector of DBAI, Coimbatore.

The children have responded well to the treatment and are showing signs of being well on their way to complete recovery. A follow up programme is being planned by both the Anbu Illams. The Coordinating team is also planning to conduct more such camps in the near future. The de-addiction camp was conducted with the help received for treatments from Tiruchy CAVERY Development Office, St. Ann's Sisters of Pallapalayam, and moral support from DB NEST, Tirupur.



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