SBT provides a continuum of care and protection services to children who once lived on streets. Children rescued from streets are exposed to physical and psychological violence, insanitary conditions and other bad influences. Many of these children fall prey to substance abuse and end up being addicted to drugs, viz., marijuana (gaanja), smoking, alcoholism and smelling spirit, flute or cough syrup. To be able to help these children lead a normal life one of the first step is to introduce them to a de-addiction programme. This helps in bringing their mind and body out of the influence of intoxicating agent and enable children to do a reality check. They become capable of understanding the harmful effects of substance abuse, reasons for quitting the substance use and get a brighter picture of future lying ahead.
Once the children normalise and are enrolled in residential centres and contact points they are introduced to a set pattern of life. One of the important component of this set pattern is to link them with mainstream education. Since, most of the rescued children are out-of-school with substantial educational gaps; bridging these gaps become imperative. Keeping these factors in mind, de-addiction of children addicted to drugs become a core and essential interventions at SBT. SBT consistently motivates and facilitates children access to de-addiction facilities.
Programme Activities and Progress Update
Continuing the activities of last quarter SBT laid a specific focus to reach out to children who had fallen prey to drug addiction in 2016.
- Identifying and motivating children: SBT team stepped up efforts to identify children living and working on the streets and who are vulnerable to drug addiction and substance abuse. Many of these children and adolescents who were consuming drugs were wasted and remained intoxicated. The staff members faced a lot of difficulty in motivating and counselling these children. The team members initiated the process of seeking agreement by convincing the family members including parents of these children. For those who were on their own, the staff convinced them whenever they were in these senses.To convince the children and their parents, staff members made recurrent visits to explain the ill-effects of drugs on health motivatedthem to join the drug de-addiction programme. Post, the informed consent children were motivated in a friendly and humane manner about the benefits of quitting drugs and leading a normal and healthy life.
- Enrolling children for de-addiction programme: SBT in association with Muskan Foundation enrolled the children for the programme, which involved staying at the de-addiction facility for a period of six months. Along with the de-addiction treatment, children were provided hygiene material, clothes during their stay and food and nutrition. Most of the children came out of the programme clean and de-addicted.
- Follow-up and re-lapse: The team regularly remains in touch with the de-addicted children to avoid cases of relapse. Although a few children who again fell prey to substance abuse were motivated to go for a second in line de-addiction programme. The success rate of the second line programme is very high.
During the Financial Year 2015 to 2016, 49 children from SBT were referred to Muskan foundation for de-addiction and 11 adults were providedde-addiction services through to AIIMS de-addiction centre, Ghaziabad.Since, February-May 2016 a total of 9 children and adolescents have been successfully de-addictedunder the programme. SBT team is regularly following up with these children to minimise relapse.
The break-up of children residential-centre wise is as follows.
Details of Children Enrolled under De-addiction Programme (March 2016 to May 2016 )
Referred to De-addiction
ODRS Open Shelter 6 boys
GRP 2 boys
Kishalaya 1 boy
Total 9 boys
SBT has faced a lot of problems in the last quarter to convince children to opt for drug de-addiction. These involved convincing children and their families to opt for drug de-addiction course. Children were not ready to give up the known devil, despite multiple visits and one to one interaction. Consequently, the turn out in the last quarter was low.
Drawing lessons from the last quarter,the SBT team plans to intensify its efforts to create awareness about harmful effects of drug abuse among vulnerable children and prevent substance abuse among them. The team will make efforts to increase one to one interaction and counsel children who are abusing drugs to opt for de-addiction course and once they come out clean the staff would engage them to educational and vocational training activities of the SBT to prevent re-lapse.