KOCHI: For the past few weeks, Ramesh Kumar (name changed) of Thrissur has been contacting various de-addiction centres in Kerala. But he couldn’t find one which could cater to his requirement: His 21-year-old niece has multiple addiction to alcohol and drugs and needs to be immediately treated.
Only now the family came to know about her addiction and one of their priority demands is that the details of the patient should be kept secret. Almost all the major de-addiction centres in the state do not admit women addicts for treatment.
This is not the predicament of Ramesh Kumar alone. Almost all the families of women who have been addicted to alcohol and drugs face this tough situation. A rough analysis of de-addiction centres reveals that on an average 40 to 50 women are being admitted for de-addiction treatment every month in the state.
In Kerala, it’s really hard to find an exclusive de-addiction centre for treating women addicts, though the number of women alcohol and drug addicts has been exponentially rising in the past few years.
“For all these years, the de-addiction programmes have been generally focusing on men. But now, a lot of women are getting admitted for alcohol and drug de-addiction,” said Dr Jayaprakash K P, secretary, KMHA.
Fr Alex J Vellappally of DARE De-addiction Centre concurred to the fact that the majority of the de-addiction centres only admit males. “De-addiction treatment involves a lot of risk as patients are totally unpredictable during the treatment. So admitting women is risky,” he says.
Sr Victrine, administrator of Holy Cross De-addiction Centre that treats women addicts, said though they have been running exclusive de-addiction treatments for women, the government has not bothered to extend any support.
“We get a lot of inquiries and admit 10 patients every month. The majority of them are Malayali girls who resort to drugs and alcohol after moving out to other states,” she said.