Mental health and addiction have been severely stigmatised in our society for a very long time. It has been and still is discussed in a very “hush hush” manner. But things seem to slowly changing. People are opening up about their personal battles with mental health and addiction issues, especially Bollywood personalities. One of these personalities is actor Prateik Babbar, son of actors Raj Babbar and the late Smita Patil.
Last year in an interview, Prateik spoke about his battle with difficult battle with drug and alcohol addiction. He revealed that had been in and out of rehab multiple times, and opened up about his difficult relationship with his father. In another interview in April this year, Prateik explained why he chose to reveal this dark side of his life –
I wanted the fans and admirers to know that side of my life. I didn’t want them to have any false impression and that is why I wanted people to know about the downfall of my life
Now he’s back, this time with a video titled “Dil Se Azaad”. Through the 3 minute video, Prateik hopes to bring to light the stigma of drug addiction, as well as ways to fight substance abuse.
In a statement about the video, Prateik said –
Through this video, I want people to understand that I wasn’t born an addict and no one consumes drugs to get addicted. I have moved mountains to overcome addiction and now drugs for me is like a bad chapter that is all over
He also emphasised on the fact that now he is completely clean, and like him, the rest of the world needs to move on from his past. He encouraged people to accept addiction and talk about it more openly. In his opinion this would change the face of addiction.
By speaking out you can help people see the reality of addiction by educating others about the disease, and letting the world see that the stereotypes of people suffering from addiction are actually the exception rather than the rule
He also added that addiction is not a moral failing and does not make one a bad person if the person has made bad choices.
Addiction recovery is possible, and acceptance is one of the first steps to get you there
What Prateik has brought into the limelight is a very significant issue for India. According to government estimates, around 7.21 crore people are affected due to drugs in our country.
If we go by the number of cases registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, there has been a steep rise in the number of cases. According to the National Crimes Records Bureau, In 2015, 50,796 such cases were reported as compared to 46923 in 2014, 34668 in 20913, 29,247 in 2012 and 25,785 in 2011. This may indicate that the amount of illegal trafficking is on the rise.
Number of Cases Reported Under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 Per Year
There has also been an alarming increase in the number of suicides due to drug and alcohol addiction. According to data tabled in the Rajya Sabha, India sees 10 suicides per day due to drug or alcohol addiction as of 2014.
It is indeed time that we took drug and alcohol addiction seriously and started talking about it more openly. As Prateik said, addiction is not a moral failing and does not make one a bad person if the person has made bad choices.
We would like to thank Prateik for bringing this issue into the limelight and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.
Related Reading – 6 Prominent Indian Celebrities Who Suffered Mental Illness
Are you struggling with addiction, or know someone who is? We’re here for you. Talk to an Expert at YourDOST today for personalised guidance.