In light of the upcoming World Drug Day, 26 June, read our second testimonial of a recovering drug user in Maldives, who is now able to manage his life thanks to the treatment he receives at the oral substitution treatment center in Male, Maldives.

Maldives: A day in a recovering drug user's life

The oral substitution treatment clinic changing lives of clients

Mohammed Nasrula, 25 years of age, works as an outreach worker at the non profit organization, Society for Women Against Drugs, based in Male', Maldives. The office is situated in a prime area, in an alley that opens up to the sea. He has a good job and lives in an island that is generally known as a paradise. Not all was well a few months ago and he recounts his story to UNODC.

Everyday in the morning for the last six months, Nasrula finishes breakfast and walks the short distance from his house to the methadone clinic called Gagan which is open from 9 am to 10 am. The clinic is built in a spacious compound surrounded by trees. There he is given 4ml of methadone, maroon in colour. After that he leaves for his office.

While waiting for his turn at the clinic he shares, "life was not so easy a while ago. My father is a drug addict and he forced my mother to use drugs. It was only natural for me to start using drugs. I began when I was 18 years of age. Started with hash oil and quickly went to heroin. Soon I was injecting drugs and stuck to this for six months.

"I suffered from acute insomnia, loss of appetite and restlessness. I would be gripped by bouts of depression and utter hopelessness. This affected my health and emotional stability. I was in no state to work which increased my financial dependence. I had cravings that would send me on a desperate hunt for heroin. In addition I would have regular bouts of fits. It is only after I saw fellow drug users dying of a drug over dose and being shunned and imprisoned, did I actually decide to change my life.

"I voluntarily enrolled three times at a rehabilitation centre for drug users in Trivandrum, a city in the South of India. Each time I relapsed because I was neglected and I felt the programme was inadequate. Then I enrolled at the oral substitution treatment clinic in Male and realized that methadone is my cure. Now I can sleep anytime I want, I have no cravings, I can play, eat, laugh and do all that normal people take for granted. The counselling sessions have been helpful and I feel like this is another home for me."

Today I have a steady job, am married and look forward to raising a family. I am confident and have requested the doctor at the clinic to start weaning me off methadone, but the doctor has advised the treatment for another nine months. Soon my treatment will be over and I can concentrate on being a good father. The first thing I will teach my children is that "drugs destroy your life" something my parents should have told me a long time ago!"

The methadone clinic in the Maldives is supported by UNODC thanks to the contribution of AUSAID and the European Union.