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Vimukthi: successful de-addiction program

Story of a successful de-addiction program from Munagapaka Mandal of Anakapalli District that changed the lives of many families.

During regular field visits where major issues ailing the village were discussed, alcohol addiction stood out as a looming issue affecting a large number of families. On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti 2nd Oct, 2022 - Vimukthi was launched as a pilot project from Ganapathi Village to cover 10 villages of Munagapaka Mandal - Nagulapalli, Ganaparthi, Melipaka, Timmarajupeta, Ummalada, Patipalli, Chuchukonda, T.Sirsapalli, Kakarapalli and Venkatapuram.

"The addiction of a family member is a family disease, it is not just a personal disease, it touches everyone and causes emotional, psychological and financial damage to the family members. It is important to recognize this and seek help" - Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Indian psychiatrist

A structured set of interventions and activities designed to help individuals overcome addiction to alcohol which was mainly observed in the men. The entire Mandal was divided into 2 clusters. The MPDO was made incharge for Munagapaka and MRO was incharge for Chuchukonda. They engaged the ANM and Mahila police of every village for taking the initiative to grass root levels.

Village heads, Sachivalayam staff, ASHA workers, and volunteers held public meetings in the village to identify and enrol affected people. Rallies, awareness activities and school level sessions were taken. They surveyed the village for collecting a list of alcohol-addicted people. Once the identification was done, grass root level staff met every family of these people, mentioned the need to avoid these addictions, and listed 50 members in 10 villages that agreed to sign up for the program.

Both Behavioural and Pharmacotherapy were provided to identified patients. Doctor Krishna Garu from Anakapalli District Hospital became the nodal point that provided treatment along with health counsellors. Within a few months of treatment, regular counselling sessions and family help, almost 12 men cam out of the addiction, putting an end to the misery of their families.

Addiction is not merely an individual issue and affects family and entire society. Alcoholism is a known propellant in domestic violence, puts whole family into financial strain and has a scaring effect on young children. The dedication with the Mungapaka Mandal Machinery and public representatives owned and executed the project is an inspiration to one all.

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