Like most countries, addiction is on the rise in Bangladesh. Apart from alcohol, the most commonly abused drugs are ‘Yaba’, heroin, marijuana and cough syrup ‘Phensedyl’.

A recent study estimates that the number of addicts in Bangladesh is more than six million who spend over Tk 70 million every day on illegal narcotics.

A WHO survey indicates that most addicts are young – age ranging from 18 to 30 years. Meanwhile, another study conducted by the Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition (JHPN) of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) shows that in Dhaka city alone, 79.4 percent of the drug addicts are male and 20.6 percent are female.

The JHPN study shows that 64.8 percent of the drug users in Bangladesh are unmarried and 56.1 percent are either students or unemployed. About 85.7 percent get into drug abuse under the influence of friends, while 65.8 percent get addicted to various codeine-laced cough syrups.

As is inevitable, drug addiction promotes crime. Over 1 lakh people are directly involved in illegal drug trade and supply.

Yaba – the madness drug

In 2006, Yaba consumption became fashionable for the well-to-do in Bangladesh. Yaba is known in Asia as the “madness drug”. It is a highly addictive mix of methamphetamine and caffeine.

In 2007, some well-known business persons were implicatedin Yaba trade after raids by authorities. Although the exact prevalence is hard to quantify, seizures of the drug are frequent. It is also believed those who use it on a regular basis are frequently involved in the distribution of the drug, either directly or indirectly. Some common street names of Yaba are: pill, BABA, gari, guti, and bori.

Codeine in cough syrup is a less expensive choice of drug for many youngsters.

Treatment options in Bangladesh

As of now, Bangladesh lacks professional de-addiction facilities of internationally accepted standards. Some rehabs have cropped up in Dhaka and other cities, but these are woefully lacking in ethical or therapeutic protocols.

That’s why some families seek treatment overseas, such as India, Thailand and Australia.

Hope Trust – Asia’s leading rehab

Families from all over the world have been going to Hope Trust rehab in India for treatment of addictions. It has a holistic treatment program that includes the WHO-approved 12 Steps, CBT, Yoga, meditation with competent medical and psychiatric back up. The rehab is in collaboration with leading treatment providers worldwide and has a working arrangement with Care Hospitals – a leading hospital chain in India.

Hope Trust (est. 2002) has earned a global reputation for safe, effective and confidential treatment of alcoholism, drug abuse, dual diagnosis (when addiction co-occurs with a psychiatric condition) and related issues.