Thirumalai Charity Trust (TCT), has been actively involved in de addiction camps as an intervention strategy to cure alcoholic patients in its project area villages (181) since 1992. For TCT, the need to create this program came from a direct request from the community. As TCT was working with its volunteers in the community, the women would bring up addiction as a serious problem facing their husbands, and families. From this, TCT has worked in the local community for over 20 years, counseling both the patient, and their families.
We have had 23 de addiction camps have been organized and 543 patients have been treated in these camps till 2014. The camps also benefited the 543 families of the alcoholics undergoing treatment.
The adopted approaches and programs include:
Alcoholics are identified, educated that alcoholism is a treatable disease and motivated for treatment. The screening process for potential patients is rigorous. The patients are made to go through three different screenings with councilors to ensure their commitment to the program. Only then are they admitted to the camp.
The design of the camp provides time for the alcoholics’ physical well being by including a daily session on physical exercise, enforcing a regimen for personal hygiene and healthy diet. The active treatment to prepare him for a new way to live after the camp includes classes for the alcoholics and their families, counseling and therapy sessions, medical treatment.
The treated patients are followed up for a year by TCT at the field level on a monthly basis. TCT organizes counseling and provides medicines once a month at its center in Thiruvalam for the patients for twelve following months after treatment at the camp. TCT also cares for the patients treated in the earlier camps by periodic home visits. TCT engages a few treated alcoholics for educating the communities periodically.
Treated alcoholics are involved in educating and motivating alcoholics to give up alcohol and to avail treatment at TCT. They become the volunteers who have ensured the continued success of this program, even going door-to-door to spread awareness.