Thursday, September 3, 2015

Substance Abuse

I have always wanted to write a post on substance abuse; as it is a very serious issue in the community; the most vulnerable are the youngsters who begin to experiment very early in their lives and gradually become addicted and dependent on the substance.

Substance abuse refers to the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs. Alcohol can include beer, wine, spirits (eg. Vodka, gin, whisky, brandy, rum, grappa etc.) Liquors and fortified wines (ex. Port, muscat) and pre mixed carbonated drinks.  Street terms include grog booze, piss and turps.

Tobacco includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes and smokeless tobacco includes chewing tobacco and snus. A street term for tobacco includes rollys and fags. Tobacco is made from the dried leaves of the tobacco plant (generally Nicotiana tabacum) Nicotine is the drug in tobacco smoke that causes dependency and is strongly linked with the development of cancers. 

Cannabis includes outdoor (bush) or indoor (hydroponic) grown, hash and hashish oil.  Street terms include bhang, charas, ghanja marijuana, dope, weed, skunk, pot, hooch, mull, grass, puff and maryjane.

Alcohol, Nicotine & cannabis are very common and mostly used by all age groups, and also types of persons be it rich, middle class or even the poor.

Any substance when taken by a person modifies perception, mood, cognition, behaviour or motor functions. This definition includes legal and illegal substances that can lead to dependence.

Research has shown that people generally take drugs to either feel good (sensation seekers, or anyone wanting to experiment with feeling high or feeling different) or to feel better (self-medicators, or individuals who take drugs in an attempt to cope with difficult problems or situations, including stress, trauma, and symptoms of mental disorders).

What makes some people more vulnerable to substance abuse?  There are so many people who take variety of substance depending on their buying capacity. But only a few get dependent on the substance they use & abuse.

Studies have shown that no single factor can predict whether or not a person will become addicted. The risk is majorly influenced by person’s biology, social environment, and age and stage of development. People of all ages suffer the harmful consequences of substance use; and it affects all strata of society.

The impact of Addiction can be seen on overall health problems like Respiratory problems, cough, breathlessness, local abscess, weight loss, over dosage, death. The other issues are marital disharmony, separation, divorce, disowned by family, homelessness.

The youngsters have issues related to poor performance in academics, absenteeism at work, loss of pay, getting into debts, giving up hobbies, play and the only preoccupation, will be finding ways and means to obtain the substances.  

Addiction also leads to involvement in illegal activities, arrests, imprisonment, driving under intoxication killing themselves and also causing road accidents. It is very common to find psychological issues related to guilt, shame, depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders associated with addiction.

It is a great challenge to work on this issue. Being non-judgmental, that is listening with love, understanding their problems, helping them to talk about their issues can be helpful (Avoid blaming, threatening, sarcasm, name calling and shouting)

Being Empathetic in dealing with them, i.e., putting yourself in their place, and being sensitive and caring, and assuring Confidentiality – building trust & relationship can motivate them to make a decision to change.

It is always better to refer to a counselor/ and consult experts to help them; as we may not be equipped to deal with withdrawal symptoms. What is withdrawal symptom?  It’s a Physical psychological symptom that occur with the discontinuance of addicting substances. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal usually begin about 5 – 10 hours following he last drink. They reach their peak between 48 and 72 hours and can persist for a few weeks into recovery. In most instances the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are mild, but there can be more severe symptoms known as Delirium Tremens which can be  fatal.

There are clinics and hospitals wherein treatment is provided for dependent users, following are the places in Hyderabad for treatment: The treatment is expensive in corporate hospitals; it reasonable in clinics run by Non governmental organizations and it’s a free treatment in  Government hospitals.

Spec Clinic – Psycho-social Counseling and
Treatment for Addiction.
New Bowenpally X Road,
Beside Gulf Bakery,
Secunderabad 500 011.
 Cell: 9247571490.

Asha De-addiction Centre
Plot No. 451, Road No 86,
 Jubilee hills, Hyderabad.
Phone: 040-23540126

Hope Trust India
 471, Road No. 87, Jubilee Hills
Hyderabad 500 033
Toll free no. 18001231288

Institute of Mental Health, (IMH)
Government Hospital.8am-10am.
One has to register between the above mentioned timing.
Erragadda-Out Patient

For those who would like to be sober and do not want to return; there are groups that support and help in remaining committed to their decision. Narcotic Anonymous work with mainly nicotine addiction and other associated substances. Narcotics Anonymous group Meetings are conducted in the twin cities on a regular basis to help those who want to be away from Substance abuse.

·         Mondays - Mahabub College, Patny circle RP Road, Secunderabad. Contact no. 9293181524. 9985360968.  7.00 p.m to 8.15 p.m.

·         Wednesday –St Francis Girls High School, Near Secunderabad Railway station. Contact no. 9293181524, 9985360968. 7.00 p.m to 8.15 p.m.

·         Thursdays – Holy Family Girls High School, Lalbazaar, Secunderabad Cantt. Contact No.8125496392. 7.00 p.m to 8.15 p.m.

·         Fridays – YMCA, Narayanaguda, Hyderabad. Contact no. 9963527539. 9985360968 7.00 p.m to 8.15 p.m. at the following centres:

Similarly Alcoholic Anonymous groups (AA Groups) are also working in the twin city for those who would like to be away from alchohol and would like to remain sober.

Hyderabad A.A. Group.
Cont:  - 9849015203
Sun./Mon. / Thu. 7.00 p.m.
Dilsukh Group  
Shri Sai Degree & PG College
Opp. Brilliant Grammer School,
Hyderabad - 500 036
Cont: 09704750871 
Tue 7.00 pm.
Banjara Group
St. Alphonsus High School,
Road no 9, Banjara Hills
Cont: 09705982000
Sun. 11.00 a.m.
Stepping Stones Group
Lady of Health Church,
Khairatabad, Hyderabad
Wed 7.00 p.m.
Kukatpally Group
Monterssory High School,
Vijaynagar Colonty, Kukatpalli,
Hyderabad - 500 072
Cont: 097047 50871
Thurs 7.00 p.m.
Secunderabad Group.
St. Ann's School,
S.D. Road
Cont: 098490 25833
Sun. 11.00 a.m.
Wisdom Group
St. Francis Degree College, Uma Nagar,
Begampet, Secunderadad
 - 500 003.
Mon/Fri - 7.00 p.m.
Jubilee Group
Sweekar Upkar Rehabilitation Centre for Handicapped,near Jubilee Bus Stand,
 - 500 003.
 - 098666 90957
Mon./Wed - 7.00 p.m.
Jubilee Group
YMCA, Near Clock Tower
Secunderabad - 500 003
Cont: - 09985335920
Sun. 11.00 a.m.
Kripa Group
Keyes High School,
Secunderabad - 500 003
Cont: - 097047 50871
Fri. 7.00 p.m.
Mahaboob college Group
Mahboob College. Secunderabad
Cont:  - 089781 03289
Thu 7.00 p.m.
Secunderabad Group.
St. Francis School,
Near Manohar Talkies
Cont: 098490 25833
Tue / Sat - 7.00 p.m.
Swastatha Group.
Krishnaveni Talent School,
Sri Ramnagar Colony
Kothapet, Dilsukhnagar
Hyderabad - 500060
Cont: 09704750871
Sun. 10.15 a.m.
Madhapur Group
Meredian School,
Next to Tata motors, Hitech city
Kukatpally Road
Cont: 098667 74156
Sat 7.00 p.m.
Ikyatha Group
S V E S Shool,
Osmania University Road,
Hyderabad - 500044
Cont: 9000475577
Wed 7.00 pm

What is the best way to help our youngsters, and those who are very vulnerable and prone to get into substance abuse: here are some tips to prevent them from getting into substance abuse as follows:

·         Practice healthy diet, avoid junk foods and
·         Get plenty of sleep.
·         Establish a regular exercise routine – walking, yoga, gym or any games of your choice, which can be played every day consistently
·         Drink plenty of water and prefer other non-alcoholic drinks instead of alcoholic ones
·         Take up new hobbies or spend more time on old ones.
·         Keep yourself active and busy.
·         Make non alcoholic using friends.
·         Put the money you save into a special fund to save up for something you really need or want.
·         Find paid employment, or do volunteer work.
·         Set goals and keep adding, changing and re discovering new goals
·         Practice Gratitude
·         Listen to music or take up your some classes to learn music
·         Learn to play an instrument
·         Think positively and be optimistic

Source: WHO Manual (2010), ASSIST-linked brief intervention 


Be Blessed & Be Happy! 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Gratitude post for August, 2015

August was an interesting and busy month for me both at home front and at the work place. David decided to go for a 10 day Vipassana meditation course for the third time, and this time he wanted to serve and also practice the art of meditating. Being an activity oriented person, this 10 day break did a lot of good for his mind and body. In the last one year there has been a lot of stress in our family; wherein we had two deaths within the family and a few health issues. I managed to take a few short breaks with our daughter; David could not as he had other commitments at work.

So now I am happy and grateful that he could take a small break from the routine staying in silence, eating a vegetarian meal and meditating for a full day.  The experience has helped him to bring in some changes in his thinking, diet, and over all our lifestyles too. I am grateful for this change which is helping us as a family to move towards being healthy.

My life without David for 10 days was slightly stressful; but I am glad I was able to manage everything independently our routine, ensuring that I drop and pick up my daughter from the bus stop to maintaining our home; and also being regular to my work; as my head was out of the country and I was expected to take charge of running the centre smoothly. This month I had quite a few students with depression of varied kind and I was glad to be of help to them in terms of linking them to the appropriate services, and offer support counseling.

I am grateful to be connected to the Psychiatrists who are extremely kind and helpful to our students; so many times they do not even take consultation fee for them as the students come from rural /poor background.

Grateful for my daughter who was supportive to me in the absence of her father, in managing most of her work independently and doing her own studies without troubling me. I finally made one separate house key (after repeatedly telling David to make one, which never happened in the last six months) for my daughter and I felt like a great achiever when I found the key maker just on my way to my work place…. I have been riding for the last 4 and half years and he is sitting right at the roadside on my way to centre….

I am grateful to connect with an old college friend and could spend a lot of time listening to all that has happened in the last one decade of her life. I felt sad that to know that she had a very tough time in a joint family set up; and in the later years with her husband who passed day due to ill health. I marvelled at the way she has coped and bounced back in carrying on her life with a bright smile and gratitude.

I am also grateful to the doctor who is helpful and suggests alternatives to any problems related to health, even though he himself practices allopathy. Recently he suggested homoeopathic doctor to David for varicose veins. Also suggested me and my daughter to take homoeopathy medicines for hormonal issues.

I am grateful for all the opportunities I get at my work place to take sessions to varied kind of groups and interact with them.

I am grateful and glad to be associated in planning and implementing a programme on substance abuse in the institutions & community.

I thank Corinne for the post that she made, after reading her post; I was inspired to do this post for the month of August.

Be Blessed & Be Happy!

Monday, August 24, 2015

My Gratitude List for this 4th week of August, 2015

I grateful to few friends, who keep in touch constantly either on cell phone, whatsapp and Gmail; At the end of the day I feel tired of everything I accomplish at workplace, specially when I have more than two students for counseling, its draining and by the time I reach home, my energy level is low; I find happiness in having friends who are understanding and open to listen. It’s also a great relief to know that you are heard and understood.
I am grateful for my colleague Cynthia who has just returned from US after attending a conference; and brought some yummy chocolates; a sleek pen, my favourite colour lipstick, key chain and a beautiful looking hand fan. These are small little things, but much more than all this is the thoughtfulness which I appreciate.  
I am blessed and glad to interact with her today; as she took me on a  virtual tour along with her; sharing all the beautiful  experiences of the conference and the lovely places she visited beginning from Washington DC, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Manhattan and New York. I was impressed to hear about these places and touched by her faith in God in accomplishing every dream of hers.
I am happy to have an old friend for lunch at home; and enjoyed preparing my favorite dish sambar (the tamilian style dal) and tried making chicken with spinach, which was an experiment for me; and enjoyed by my friend and my daughter.
I am happy  hear about  David’s experiences in the meditation centre, all the learning he had and the decisions he has taken to bring some changes in his life style to keep himself healthy and active.
I am thankful for the interaction with the parent teachers meeting at my daughters school; I was happy about her progress, there was no major complain or worry and almost all the teachers gave a positive affirmations, with a little feedback to score a little more high in the subjects. So far she has fared well in all the subjects, and I am content that she is able to do it on her own with minimum help from my end.
I was happy to visit my brother Francis and his family; after the school visit, which is on my way back home; it’s always been my pleasure to spend time with this family; where I feel so much at home and comfortable to interact with my sister in law; my nephew Sunny, his wife Theresa and two little kids Nathan and Tabitha who study in the same school along with my daughter. Me and Dorothy had special lunch, and played with these kids for some time and returned home in gratitude.
The next day being 4th Sunday; we got busy with the prayer service organized by David at St Cecilia‘s church in the local parish. We were there for a full day in the church participating in the services, which was followed up by lunch.
I am grateful for effort and time Dorothy took to sit with her books; in preparing for the formative assessment from this week

Be Happy!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Gratitude Post on Mrs. Marilyn Park

“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” Dietrich Bonheoffer

Today I want to be grateful for one special person in my life; who is not related by blood neither is she a best friend of mine. She is in no way connected with me, neither she belong to my community, my state and my country.

We have never met, nor have we interacted with each other; she entered my life when my son was just 4 years old and my daughter was 7 years. My husband’s family lived with us; being eldest son he was responsible for his mother, sister and brother.  Both of us worked to keep our family together and at the same time help my sister in law and brother in law settle down in marriage.

Photo by Mrs Marilyn Park, winter at New York 

My daughter was a bundle of joy; and she was pampered and given full attention till, my son arrived when she was turning 3 years; a Down syndrome child.  My daughter studied in a CBSC school. The early days of my son was not so difficult to manage; as he was too small and we did know what would be his problem; gradually we found he was developing respiratory issues, and his developments were slightly delayed compared to my daughter.

It was a challenging task to manage him, as he needed more time for everything and I was visiting the hospital every alternate month. The medical expenses were high for him, and added to this I found very difficult to find a school that would accommodate a Down syndrome child.
Photo by Mrs Marilyn Park and sent to Maria Dorothy

It was at this juncture; Mrs. Marilyn Park entered our lives through an organization that sponsored education for children.  Seeing my plight one of my priest friend recommended my daughter’s name for the sponsorship. From then on till the next five years my daughter’s education was supported. It was a great blessing for us and we were fortunate enough to find a suitable special educator for my son who could give him home tuition, which was also supported by a close friend of mine.

Thus a beautiful relationship was born and I feel blessed and privileged to connect with her; for she was very articulate and wrote to my daughter regularly about everything under the sun. One letter she stated that she had framed my daughter’s photograph and kept in the front room, and prayed everyday for her.

I preserved every letter of hers as my daughter would read those letters with pride. She would send lovely cards for her birthday, Xmas, New Year, Easter and sometimes very beautiful pictures of autumn, winter and her tours and travel. She was very fond of gardening; taking care of cats, knitting and painting.

I have a beautiful portrait of my son and daughter painted by her with great love and patience. It was a proud moment for my daughter when she saw the painting; as she never met my son and daughter in person, only looking at one or two pictures; she was able to do the oil painting.

Oil Painting by Mrs Marilyn Park and sent to Maria
Today I am filled with gratitude for all the support and help I have received for my kids; after the death of my son in 2011. I withdrew my daughter’s name from the sponsorship; so that somebody more deserving than my child could take this sponsorship. Also I felt we could manage to take care of one child.

Having experienced so much of generosity and help I made a decision to support a child for education. I also encourage and keep reminding my daughter that when she settles down she must pay forward what she has received.

There is a sense of happiness and joy when we begin to share our blessings. My heart is filled with gratitude for every small little help I have received in bringing up my kids. Even though my son Emmanuel is no more, he has put a strong desire in my heart to do something for the Down syndrome kids…. I am still in the process of exploring and finding ways to reach out to them…. though I was connected to the school he went for a short while.. there is still a lot more to do for these children.

I am glad for every experience of life that has made me rich but has also taught me so many things that other wise I would not have known. We never forget to whisper a prayer for Mrs. Marilyn Park who became so much a part of our lives; and continues to live in our hearts.

“Keep your eyes open and try to catch people in your company doing something right, then praise them for it.” Tom Hopkins

Be Blessed & Be Happy!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Gratitude List for the week

The high light of the week has been as follows: A lot has happened and I was finding difficult to spend time writing... and  posting. Despite whatever happening I don’t want to give up this exercise of posting once a week. I just pick up a few which are unforgettable. Glad for this exercise… which is motivating and pushing me to post… and also feel happy and positive. 

Grateful and happy for my daughter who won the first prize in group singing, in the school competition. I was happy to see her in new attire for the singing competition; she was expected to dress as an south Indian.

Dorothy ready for the school-group singing competition
Glad to have David back home after a long 10 day break, very refreshed and enthusiastic to get into the routine work and lending a helping hand.

Enjoyed buying and taking roasted corn for myself and my daughter; also packed one for my mother in law. It’s a great feeling to have some warm roasted corn, with chilli, salt and lemon on it. The weather was cloudy and with slight showers …

Roasted Corn at the road side

me and mydaughter
Took a jolly ride with my friends around the city on Independence Day, and had some fun playing games and eating corn and nuts in a park. There are small joys and very memorable ones.

I am thankful to the person who helped us in getting another set of house keys for my daughter. Which makes our life easier? It’s a relief to have a spare one for my daughter to manage herself, if we are delayed in picking her up from the bus stop.
Maria Dorothy- my daughter
I can't believe this is me....
I was sorting out my desk and I found two lovely art work of mine and my daughter, few years ago when I took my daughter to the park, there were some students who were earning through  doing some art work. So I and my daughter stood to get ours done…. Loved this art which brought so many pleasant moments of my life...

  “Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favourite food, or the sound of a loved one’s voice.” Joseph B Wirthlin

Be Blessed & Be Happy !

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

My Gratitude List for the week

·         I am grateful for David for all that he does for me and our daughter Dorothy. He took a break to be away for a retreat for the next 10 days. He knew that I had to manage everything by myself. So he paid all the bills, provisions were brought and even made some special curries, brought some chicken and fish stored in the refrigerator for us.
Left some cash for emergency made a small packet with generic drugs for headache, cold, cough, allergy, stomach pain etc and also made arrangements for our travel, in case we want to go out informing the auto driver to help us when we need to go out.
Informed our close by family friends, neighbours’ that he will be out; and to stay in touch with us to ensure that we are comfortable and safe.
·    I am grateful for the good neighbors’ who are very helpful and caring; glad to live in a peaceful place and to have a community that cares and shares.
A session with the lectures at Maulana Azad University, Hyd

Feedback on the session

·   I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and present a session on applying concepts of positive psychology on self and in teaching students to the Degree college teachers. I enjoyed preparing this presentation and reading a lot on the subject, as I was doing this topic for the first time, which made me enthusiastic and energetic at the end of my presentation.
·      I am grateful and happy to be involved in the substance abuse programme and violence against women programmes with special focus on eve teasing at the community implemented by YWCA.(Young Women Christian Association).. it gives me great satisfaction to do meaningful work in my life.
·         I am grateful for two of my friends whose birthdays brought beautiful memories and filled me with thanksgiving.
Tried a Selfie  on her Birthday

with my college friend 
·     The last one week made me value and appreciate David a little more; for all that he does for the family; and his absence was felt.  
·         Managing home and work was also tiring and this post took the back seat, but I am still happy that I was able to complete this post…. Thanks to Laurel for the constant reminder and the inspiration.. I pushed myself to complete this gratitude post for the week.
·    Today I also attended a funeral of a person by name Mr Ceasor Jacob, husband of one of the members from YWCA Secunderabad who donated his eyes to an Eye Hospital and his body for Research purpose. I was inspired hearing this news, and am grateful for the reminder this death brought to me; that one day I too may have to leave this place …..and  I would prefer to leave with gratitude….

Be Blessed & Be Happy!

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