Contributed by Kunal Kishore, Drug Demand Reduction Officer, UNODC
From left to right Bodey, Bappu, Nabo, Seebe
“Recovery is very easy and simple…it’s the choice we make”. Nabo one of the founder members of the recovery group Paradigm says so. The word “Paradigm” first appeared in English in the 15th century, and means “An example or pattern”.
Nabo, Bappu, Seebe and Bodey are the proud members of this young recovering group of drug users who have completed just over 2 years of “Sobriety”.
Most drug users in Maldives like the members of Paradigm do not know the dangers of experimenting with drugs until the day they realize they were full–blown addicts.
Life was never in control for any of the Paradigm members during their using days. Drug relapses, psychological/physical health problems, damaging relationships were a way of life for a long time until the day they decided that the only way to live, and to live healthy was to help each other,… who have been through the same pain and experiences as theirs.
In the lines of Bodey, “Recovery is never possible if the drug addict is himself/herself not willing to give up drugs”. We are passionate people and we can do a lot, however we did not know how/where to make a start…until one day it so happened.
Members of Paradigm meet regularly at a coffee house in Male’ for over two years to do what they all think is a mission for their lives, and that is to stay clean and help other young peers do the same.
Seebe and Bodey say we are actually planning to open an NGO. Ask them why, and they say that’s probably a better way to raise our voices to the masses and to people who need help and don’t know where to go.
Even though the government is trying to make efforts, members of Paradigm feel it’s not sufficient for many young drug users who have nowhere to go for help because there is limited knowledge and available services in Maldives to deal with the growing problem of drug abuse.
Paradigm members also feel the need for a drug treatment facility where they could also refer young drug users who need help.
As this story which is about the beginning of Paradigm concludes Seebe says: “The mistakes we have made in our lives have all contributed to who we are and we do not regret them for ourselves – only for the worry what they have caused our friends and families…”