SUNEEL VATSYAYAN, India
Recently, I attended the cremation of Suresh (Name Changed).He died prematurely because of cardiac arrest at the age of 49 leaving behind his wife and two sons and a big loan to pay.. He had earlier lost his friend Pawan (Name Changed) because of lung cancer at the age of 39. Suresh and his friend had been drug free and physically healthy for the last 24 years and 13 years respectively. Suresh & Pawan were treated at Navjyoti Delhi Police Foundation Drug Rehabilitation Center for their multiple drug use starting with marijuana in Delhi during the 1982 Asian Games. Suresh was treated 17 times prior to his last treatment in different nursing homes and NGO run programs, for his alcohol dependence. Later both were involved in running a Nada India supported peer led drug & alcohol rehabilitation center in the outskirts of Delhi and lead the ARPAN (Association of Recovering People Action Network) for quality care. Both continued to attend Narcotic Anonymous self-help groups regularly run in Delhi. These Narcotic Anonymous/Alcoholic Anonymous groups have a substantial role and have greatly contributed in the reduction of alcohol & drug demand, since these groups provide safe and supportive space for a alcohol users before and after treatment. Both of them continue to inspire me to work in the field of the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases, among alcohol and drug using populations.