We at Muktangan now believe that addiction as a disease affects every aspect of the afflicted person’s life; at the physical and mental level, in relationships, and even causes the person to lose all sense of morality. The disease has a way of recurring and only a total change in attitude can bring any meaningful recovery.
Through our experience of treating more than 14,000 friends, we have developed the following 12 principals of treatment
- Unconditional acceptance
Unconditional acceptance of our friend as a human being differentiates his behavior and person–hood. We avoid labeling, so instead of calling a client an “Addict”, we always refer to him as a friend or “Bandhu” (brother).
- Every human being is rational & trustworthy
We believe that every individual is rational, constructive, positive, trustworthy and full of potential. He may for some time act, think, feel and behave irrationally, but he has an innate capacity of correcting his thoughts, feelings and actions if he realizes that they are causing hindrances in life. We try to help our client to detect his distorted cognitions and help him replace those by appropriate ones.
- Security, love and gratitude
Security and love are very important needs of the person suffering from the disease of addiction. We feel that dormitory living and community approach provides emotional bonding among the friends. They sense and feel love in the setting. We don’t have a separate ward for detoxification. Observing severe withdrawals of new friends helps others understand the gravity of the problem. Further, senior inmates help in nursing the newcomers during withdrawals.
- Role models
‘Living role models’ motivate our friends and they identify their emotions with their counsellors. Therefore a majority of Muktangan staff consists of ex–addicts. Our staff acts as sponsor, big brother, role model and counsellor. Due to this, family members develop faith in the program.
Restoring faith in human values is the essence of recovery. Honesty, open–mindedness and willingness are considered to be values of recovery. Our daily routine reinforces value of time while yoga reinforces value of discipline, cleanliness and commitment.
- Work is recovery
We believe that work conditioning is an essential part of recovery. All maintenance jobs, cooking, cleaning is done by inmates by rotation. It helps them to condition themselves for physical work. Further they are supposed to wash and iron their own clothes, clean their own plates and glasses irrespective of their financial statuses. This gives them realization about the value of family members’ work and many are motivated to share household work after discharge. We also help many friends get jobs through placement agencies. If possible the friends are accepted at the center as volunteers or staff. Some of them attend only therapy sessions while staying at home (‘Day Care’) and some who are working in the city make Muktangan their ‘Half–way home’ before getting absorbed in the social mainstream.