Drug abuse: all it takes is compassion

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Laveeza Fatima, a 19 years old medical student at Allama Iqbal Medical College, Pakistan. She is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

`He is a drug addict’, ‘Stay Away for your wellbeing’, ‘Don’t talk to him’, These voices might also be striking walls of your mind too seeing someone in addiction of any sort. Why do we suddenly forget that they also are HUMANS and more importantly, they are SUFFERING from something pretty bad? Why don’t we bother to ponder over why and how they fell into the ditch of addiction to alcohol, porn, smoking, cutting, vapes, drugs, injections and what not? I would call these so-called addicts, WARRIORS who fight constantly with the demons present inside of them, meanwhile felling a prey to pretty destructive compulsion to neutralize their pain, as well as with the demons present outside camouflaged as humans passing enough heinous statements to break the heart of victim and to push him deeper and deeper into addiction, aggravating a self-hate loop.

Listen, wait and stop! You are on the wrong train of actions if you are also one of those people who treat addicts like this and hate them. Let me share a secret with you, you know what is the earnest and utmost desire of these warriors? Their wish stays constant, ‘‘Please treat us also with empathy and compassion like you would treat a respectable and well reputed person. Stop judging us over a thing and ignoring our whole existence. Hate crime not criminals. Give us a chance, lend us a hand and help us walking out of this labyrinthine.’’ My heart actually weeps at how we treat these people who are already going through some dark phase, I would like to quote words of Paul R.Ehrlich:

‘’I see harm reduction as a way of engaging people as part of that path to recovery’’. Let’s come together and practice harm reduction and see how positively it impacts the lives of all people who are badly suffering. Normalize sitting with the warriors and letting them pour their heart out, as listening mere will make their hearts relieve from half of pain because in this world full of humans ears are still scarce, the ears who are empath and who don’t judge. Be a good ear and hear all the bottled-up stuff either past unhealed traumas or a huge story of manipulation. Let the compassionate physician inside you open their wound and cleanse it and then stitch it perfectly with magical behavior and warm words leaving just a tiny scar behind. Capacitate them enough so they can accept the situation and themselves and can stand up on their own to see the exit door taking out of the bubble of addiction. As your hate, resistance  towards them and act of judging them is not going to do anything good but only spoil, worsen and devastate them. So let us take a sip of kindness and hold compassion tight in one hand and their hand in the other. Let us hug them tight and tell them we are here, its okay and we will walk out of this dark night together.

About the author

MARYAM TARIQ, a 2nd year MBBS student at Aziz Fatima Medical and Dental College, Faisalabad, Pakistan. She is inclined towards writing as a part of her expression of thoughts and feelings. She has been writing since school life on Wattpad, Miraquil and she also has a blog on Instagram (@whispers_of_hope9). She is Publication support division director at the local cabinet of IFMSA in her college.

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