Of love and broken lives: Alcohol addiction in the State


SHILLONG: From branded wines, momentary bliss to years of rehabilitation, the journey to alcohol addiction dates back to one core reason in majority of the cases is—Absence of Love and Care.

With Shillong being plagued with the problem of alcohol addiction, most common amongst the youth, experts are of the view that the root cause of this social menace is the absence of love and care, starting from broken homes.

"Our interactions and counselling has revealed that majority of the alcoholics started drinking due to family problems starting from divorce of their parents, violence, single mothers, all pointing towards lack of love and care," said Bryan F Jones, the Project Director of Kripa Foundation, Shillong.

According to statistics available with Kripa Foundation, as many as 90 individuals during the past 11 months (Jan-Nov, 2015) have come forward seeking help and counselling as compared to 89 new entries in the year 2014 and 108 new entries in the year 2013.

Raising concern over the rising trend amongst the youth, Jones said that the minimum age of the individuals seeking help is shocking which implies that they got into the habit at a very early age. "We have patients coming to us, ranging between the ages of 30-35 years. It's alarming because if their drinking habit has taken a rough turn at this age, it only implies that they have started drinking at the age of 15-16 years," he said.

Citing the main reasons behind the alcohol abuse in the state, particularly the capital city, Jones said that broken family and peer pressure are the main reasons. "Most of our patients here comes from a broken home and when asked about the past, it always relates to one thing—lack of love and care," he added.

"Showing a bit of love and care can change a person's life. I believe Love is the remedy to this problem," Jones observed adding that if a person is loved, he won't have any reasons to waste his life by getting into alcohol or drugs.

If lack of love can turn a person into an alcoholic, then it's only love which could bring an alcoholic back.

"They are not bad people, they are good people. It's the circumstances that have got them hooked to alcohol. But there is a way out and that depends on the attitudes the family members' shows towards an alcoholic," he added.