SUCCESS STORIES

Sarhan

I felt like I was trapped, confined and I did not know what to do. My world was coming to an end. Using drugs was my only option. I stopped caring about my parents, my friends, everyone in that matter. Relationship did not have any meaning to me anymore. Trust me, I wasn’t like this. I used to be a very friendly and caring person. I was an obedient son, a good student and most of all, I was having the time of my life. I had many hobbies like playing cricket, football, and billiard. I used to play guitar and performed couple of shows with my Band. I used to be very social and I had great friends. But as time passed by, I started experimenting with drugs and alcohol. I went to a lot of parties with my friends and I started drinking. Then I started smoking weed. I didn’t become an addict in a day. Even while using I was having a great time. My band started to get more shows and we even started recording for our album. Then me and my band mate heard of this drug called yaba. It sounded interesting and we started doing it. At first it was more than great. We used to be awake all night and compose songs and make music. My life was getting better. I just got in to University and study was not going that bad. I was even in a steady relationship with my girlfriend. My parents had no idea where I was heading into.

At first, it was not like I was doing yaba everyday, but soon as the days passed it became more of a necessity. Things were starting to fall. I was cranky all the time. I started behaving rude with my parents. Grades started to fall badly and my girlfriend and I broke up. And time passed really fast and I couldn’t control my life anymore. I started to lose my friends and I got caught using drugs in front of my parents. They wanted to help but I didn’t take any. They stopped giving me money and I started dealing drugs. Soon it was only drugs and drugs. My new friends were drug dealers and people who needed drugs. I stopped socializing and even though I knew where I was heading into, I was going in that path anyways. It was like I was out of control. I stopped going to my University and could not give any time for my band. I became physically weak and lost a lot of weight. I knew I became a druggie and there is nothing I can do about. I even went to psychiatrist with my father, but nothing helped. The medicine they gave me was not helping and I believed that the life I had once, I am never going to have it back. I even tried to commit suicide and my father had to take me to the emergency.

My father could not take the pain anymore and knew that actions needed to be taken. He contacted Prottoy and involuntarily made me admitted to Prottoy. There I met Doctor Sat Parkash, who helped me and told me to start the program. I started doing the program with my fellow mates and slowly and slowly I found there might be a hope. I started to surrender and believed that using drugs cannot be an option for me anymore. I started to find inner peace. Then I met Saudha Bhai, he started giving group therapy, intensive therapy, counseling and one on one session which really helped me a lot. I became stronger and I started to believe that I can have a great life after rehab. The only thing I was worried about was how things would turn out after getting out of rehab. I thought I would be lonely and would be difficult for me to face life again. However Saudha bhai gave me hope and told me that they will support me and help me after rehab as well. And to be honest after getting released they gave a huge support and help, definitely more than I expected. They helped me find a part-time job. They kept in touch with me every day, and gave me a strong support structure. I made great friends thanks to Prottoy. Now it is more like we are a family. We hang out and meet everyone everyday and there is even a club where we play sports like football and cricket.

My life is now better than ever. I am sober for more than three years now. My relationship with my parents is stronger than ever. I finished my graduation (BBA) and it has been a year I m working. I recently started my MBA. Life cannot get better than this. I have got a new family which has countless members and they are walking through the same path with the same focus and determination like I am. I don’t regret anything anymore because I would not have reached this position and peace of mind if I did not make those mistakes. I am 25 years old now and I think I have matured and have developed myself better than ever. I will admit that sometimes life gets tough and things do not end up the way I expect, but I have learned how to face them without using any substance. I have learned the fun of life and fun of life is to get challenges and not running away from it, but to happily accept and face it with all the effort I can give.

Tamim

Growing up I had a normal childhood. Better than many around me. Since I was brought up in the middle east I had access to a lot of facilities; Proper fields, free of cost membership and training in sports clubs, frequent sports meets and tournaments etc. These were one of many reasons to why most of kids my age always had a functional life. I too like a lot of my friends back then was very active in sports and was also better than most of them. I was one of top three athletes in my school of five thousand students. I went on competing against other schools around the kingdom and by the time i was 15 years old i was in the best shape of my life and i thought i was heading to a career in sports. However that was not the case.

By the time I was 15 I had already taken my 10th grade exams, I had passed with decent scores. I was always an above average student even though I was a back bencher all my life. Right after my 10th grade exams, my parents had decided that I was to enroll in the British curriculum (O/A levels). Which was why I had ended up changing schools, the new school was 80kms from my city and my dad ends up buying me a car so that I wouldn't have to take the bus so early in the morning. The new school wasn't really keen on sports which was why I started spending my after school hours driving around the city and picking up new hobbies. Billiards was my favorite among all others. By then I was 16 and I had already picked up smoking cigarettes. For some odd reason I had stopped studying and started failing my classes. I was too busy enjoying this new side of life I suppose.

When my parents realized I was not doing so well in school they thought I would be best if I were to go abroad and do my foundation course and then enroll in a degree program there. So I was sent off Malaysia to pursue my parents dreams for me. 72 hours hadn't passed after I first landed and I had already had my first high. I had smoked marijuana for the first time and I had fallen in love. A week later i found out what it was like to be hammered on alcohol. In less than a month I was more in the clubs than i was at the university. It had become normal to drink and get high on drugs. Yes, by this time I was getting high on a lot of things besides marijuana. I was doing it all day everyday of the week. Life to me was all about the high. I was high when I was doing my classes, I was high when I was meeting friends, I was high when I was meeting family, driving, eating & probably the only time I wasn't high was when I was sleeping. Eventually my dad figured that I was doing so well in Malaysia either so he had decided to move me to Bangladesh.

It hadn't been 72 hours since I had landed and I had already managed to score the goodies. But this time I was smart enough to consume the drugs in little portions and tried to be functional at the same time. I was still high when I was socializing, studying, driving, eating and all the other times but by this time maintaining a normal looking life. Eventually I had taken my A level exams while being high and surprisingly managed to pass with decent scores. Enrolled my self in a reputed university, got a few part time jobs, was keeping my grades up, all of this while I was high and I thought I was on the right path. My confidence was sky high, I had managed to achieve a normal life while I was on drugs. Sadly it didn't last very long. I was once again hooked on hard drugs, this time worse than ever. I was getting in trouble with the authorities, even spent a few days in lock ups, wouldn't come home for days at times. This went on for a few years until there was no sign of the previous personality of mine, I was pathetic, depressed, angry all the time and the only thing I cared for were the drugs I was consuming. Finally in on 7th January 2013 my parents decided to rehabilitate me. I was angry in the beginning but slowly over time I started thinking for myself. I started to share, listen and understand. I met other recovering addicts and I was inspired by how they had managed to turn their lives around. My doctors and counselors guided me and all I did was gather all my patience and wait. Very slowly over time and guidance of the support structure in other words my other family, I have once again managed to be functional and productive. I am confident and I am proud of myself. I have lost a lot of friends but made even more. I once again have been able to get in touch with my inner child. I have picked up sports again and i train to keep myself fit. I feel like I am living my lovely childhood all over again. Once more I am confident in life and I feel that I have that potential in me and I will make it this time. I am 26 years of age today, still a back bencher, a semester away from graduating and getting my degree in BSC Electrical and electronics engineering. Today after 9 years of first using I can finally say; I am sober, happy, productive and awaiting further challenges in life :)

Farzan

A Phoenix is a bird that after its death is reborn from its own ashes. The story of my life is somewhat similar. I was a drug addict.

I started using when I was 16 years old. I started with marijuana because I was curious. I wanted to experiment. I just finished my O'levels and had a lot of free time when I joined for my A'levels. I was bored and that was the time when I met a group of people who were using marijuana. One of them asked me to hang out with them and knowing full well that they used marijuana I said yes because I was curious why people were using drugs. At that age, doing drugs was also considered to be 'the cool thing'. I have been a good boy up until that point of my life with good grades all through my school life and had given fantastic O' levels exams. I wanted to be the 'bad boy', the 'cool guy', the 'the rebel'. So, I started using marijuana with this group of friends of mine. After a couple of months, one of them proposed that we take heroine and I agreed. For three months I was using heroine and marijuana side by side and those three months are still a haze. At one point I got caught by my parents and I had to promise them that I will never use again. I swore on my mother's life that I would never use again and I had every intention to keep my word because my mother is the most loved person in the world for me.

I stopped hanging out with that group of friends and started hanging out with my childhood friends again. After a few months, I started drinking alcohol with my school friends because i was afraid if I didn't, they will consider me a loser. And a few months after that, I started smoking marijuana with them because they started using as well. I could only say no a couple of days but had to give in because I did not want to be an outcast in the group.

In between all this, I gave my A'levels, got good grades and joined North South University for BBA. I started smoking marijuana more and more. I was trying to live by a rule 'never smoke alone'. One of my friends lived nearby North South University, so every day in between classes, I would go over to his place and smoke marijuana. In the beginning, I would go to class high, but slowly I stopped going to class after I smoked. My results that semester were horrible and I decided I was not liking studies here, it was not challenging enough for a person of my capabilities and I decided that I will apply to Canada. I applied to one university, I was that confident and I got accepted.

The first semester in Canada went well. I was studying properly and attending all my classes but as I started making more and more friends and started hanging out, I started smoking marijuana and drinking as well. Within no time, I was drinking everyday. Alcohol became my substance of choice. I used to drink all the time. I used to think that since I was wasting so much of my father's money on alcohol, I had to attend all my classes so that I do not waste more money on my studies. So, I attended all my classes drunk, smelling of alcohol. My teachers were concerned, and asked me to do some counseling. I did not listen.

The next summer, I came to Bangladesh for my summer vacation. That is when I discovered yaba as a few of my friends were using it, and immediately fell in love with it. I started using everyday. Sleeping all day and going over to my friend's place in the evening and use and stay there all night. A week before I was due to go back to Canada, I crashed my car. I was high on marijuana, alcohol and yaba. I broke my collar bone and fractured my sacrum. I was in bed rest for 6 months, that was the only 6 months I was clean. As soon as I could start walking by my own, I started smoking marijuana with my friends. They would come over and we would use. I realized that the painkiller prescribed to me by my doctor which was codeine gave me a high and started abusing it. After my prescription was over, I requested my father to get me more because my pain did not subside, so he bought me more. I never went back to Canada, neither did I continue my studies. After a few months of resuming to use marijuana, I started having yaba again. My rule of 'never smoke alone' did not stand anymore. I started smoking everything alone and also with my friends. I was high all the time.

I met a girl in Canada and we fell in love. She decided to move to Bangladesh for me since I decided not to go back to Canada. She came to Bangladesh, was shocked that I was using yaba, asked me to quit. I always replied 'I could quit heroine on my own babe, yaba would not be a problem. I'm using because I am bored. As soon as I find something to do, I'll stop'. I never found anything else to do other than using drugs.

Our marriage was arranged since my parents thought maybe getting me married would give me a sense of responsibility and purpose and I will quit using drugs. But after we got married, i kept on using and my wife was getting increasing frustrated and we would fight everyday. So, my father decided that we should move out in the hopes that living alone would help me get a better sense of responsibility. But it worked in the opposite way. My wife used to work, and I'd get the whole apartment to myself all day, and I started using more. After a point, my wife got so frustrated that she would call me things like 'useless, waste of resources, pathetic'.

I decided to quit. I began to try to stop. But I soon realized that in the past 11 years of my drug use, I've made my life up in such a way that I had nothing else to do other than using drugs. Nothing would give me the same sort of satisfaction. I needed drugs to have fun, I needed drugs to deal with my pain, I needed drugs to function. I started going to the office, I could not stay there for more than a couple of hours. So, I decided that I'll ask my uncle to let me join his office, since my father is very lenient, I could take advantage by not staying at our office for too long. But the same pattern continued there as well. The days I would use, I could go to office and function, other days, I could not even get out of bed. I started having auditory hallucinations. I realized that I was going insane. The problems with my wife began increasing.

At one point, I decided to confront my parents about my drug abuse and ask for help. My parents searched around and brought me to Prottoy Medical Clinic.

I was there for 7 months. When I entered Prottoy, I had no self esteem what so ever, no self confidence and a very distorted perception of my life. I was lost as a human being. I was a shell of a man that I used to be when I used to a boy. An empty shell. Prottoy has a life management program that helped me immensely. I started growing back my self confidence, my self esteem and my perception about life began to change. I realized that I did not need drugs for anything. I realized how much I have hurt my parents and my wife and everyone around me while I was using. I accepted all my failures in life and decided to move forward. My wife left me after I got admitted and at that point I never thought I could live without her, neither could I be sober without her.

But with the help of the professionals at Prottoy and the amazing friends that I found there who were on the same mission as me, managed to overcome that. I have been sober for 2 years now and life could not be any better. I started studying again and I started working with my father as well. The relationship with my parents have never been better. I have become responsible, dependable, a completely changed man.

I had ruined my life and out of its ashes I've created a new one. A good one, a happy one, a fulfilling one. I have established certain goals for myself in my life and so far everything is going accordingly. In short, life could not be better.

Oyon

A Story of Hope

I was born in Jessore, Khulna in Bangladesh. After primary school, I moved to Dhaka for HSC. In class 9, I used to share all my troubles with my best friend. His elder brother was a drug user and one day he suggested that we take Phensidyl and that it would make me feel better. I took it, and instantly I felt like my problems just flew away. Afterward I always relied on a bottle of cough syrup instead of facing my problems. I travelled to Dhaka every few weeks where I would drink and smoke marijuana. My relationship with my father was never very stable and after taking drugs I started to lie blatantly about my expenses. I had recurring fights with my girlfriend, and the time my devotion towards drugs increased continuously until it led to a serious accident. My family were getting worried about me so I moved to Singapore to study in 2005. I kept drinking and partying, eventually dropping out and returning home. I got admitted to IUB, dropped out, moved to UIU, never stopping my drug use. I also started gambling to pass the time, and my friends and I opened a Pool Hall. One day, I walked in on them using Yaba at our office and I started smoking pills with them every morning, noon and night. One time I had to leave Dhaka and travel with my father and that was when I saw I was constantly anxious without the drug in my system. I tried to work with my father but ended up spending so much of his money on drugs, that he asked me to stop coming to work. I got very angry, swore at my mother, wanted my share of his properties and left home when I didn't get it. I spent 6 months outside my home at friend's places. Without money in my pockets, my friendships were getting strained and I had to sell my beloved motorcycle. I got 1.5 lakh taka for it, which I promptly spent. That got me thinking, so I told one of my friends to get another bike I had at home. He got it, paid me an advance of 30000 tk, and disappeared with my bike. At this point, I was totally broke, so I moved back to my home town and started living with a friend, where I got married to my girlfriend against my parent's wishes. I was constantly enraged, and wanting more money, I got a few of my drug using friends to bring guns and surround my family. I demanded that they let me into my home, or I would shoot them. They were terrified, and so they agreed. As soon as I got back in, I started using their money to buy drugs again. My wife was watching my actions, and by now was very fed-up. I started doing crazy things, like beating up my father's manager when he refused me money. My dad called the police on me and I was taken into custody. I got out, seething with anger, and vowed to kill my own father. They had no choice but to get the police to arrest me again, this time with a hunting knife under my pillow. They put me in a rehab in Jessore, where I was non-compliant and only waited through the days to get out. My father thought that he would send me back to Singapore, where I could not do drugs. I landed there and immediately found crystal meth or 'ice'. I would smoke it all night and go to work in the morning, before passing out for a few days at a time. Eventually, my wife caught me with the drug, and in retaliation, I beat her up really badly. I lost my job, and came back home. As soon as I reached home, the Prottoy staff were there. They brought me in involuntarily.

The first one month, I was extremely confused and angry and refused to believe that I have a problem. As time went on, the fellow patients doing the life management program here convinced me to give it a try and in just a few days I started to have some realizations. After 2-3 months, I saw my family, and by then my attitude towards them had completely changed. They treated me with love and respect and I thought they deserve the same from me. I saw how staying in Prottoy had changed the way I think, and vowed to live my life without using drugs. Now, nearly 8 months sober, my family gives me all their love and attention which feels much better than taking what I want by force. I am happily married, and there are no more questions or doubt about what I do and where I go. I don't have to lie to my family anymore, and I don't have to be a slave to the craving of a drug. I love my life and live surrounded by my support group. I have given up mixing with the old crowd, except for a few sober childhood friends. For once in my life, I am content and now sit sharing this story with you with a smile on my face.