Prateik Babbar, the son of veteran actress Smita Patil and actor-turned politician Raj Babbar who had made his impressive Bollywood debut with Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, is a relieved man today after getting rid of drug addiction and daring to focus once again on his acting career. Here is what the actor wrote in an open letter for the benefit of one and all, especially for those fighting the drug menace, etc.
“My struggle with drugs started before high school. Sports and music were constructive escapes for a while, but, they could only suffice for so long. My first real drug was a disturbed childhood. Constantly faced with an internal dilemma, the voices in my head debating where I belong and who I am, drugs came disguised as a glitzy escape. As years went by, I got acquainted with the narcotic underbelly, which led me to my first run-in with drugs at the age of 13.”
“Getting out of bed was almost impossible; nausea greeted me each morning, my body ached and I oscillated between hot and cold every few minutes. At that point, I didn’t even have a drug of choice, I took whatever I could lay my hands on.”
“A drug overdose made me sit up and take note of the monster I had become. I couldn’t recognise the man I saw in the mirror. I decided to finally seek professional help. I was up for any sort of withdrawal symptoms. Drugs had consumed my brain to such an extent that even after a detox, it continued to hold some real estate up there. I spent three weeks in rehab trying to convince everyone I had beaten my addiction. But now, I am stronger, confident that whatever tribulations befall me, I will heal.”
“The only way to keep cynicism at bay is by sharing the emotions that fueled my addiction in the first place. The second is to break the stigma associated with addiction. I want to tell every addict that there is assistance. I can’t promise that it will be easy, but I can assure you that it will be simpler than following a life that will eventually destroy you, and everything you love.”