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Life is short — alcohol abuse makes it even shorter.

Kurji Holy Family Hospital, (KHFH) organized a presentation on the adverse effects of alcohol addiction to create awareness among hospital employees. Father Gregory Gomes, SJ, chairperson of the KHFH de-addiction committee facilitated the session. Sister Sophie, head of International Organization for Standardization assisted with the necessary arrangements for the meeting. The group discussed in detail how alcohol addiction has spread across all sections of the society without any age barrier.

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Cirrhosis, a liver disease is the third largest killer among working adults, said Father Gomes, quoting a report from the local daily, The Telegraph. The disease has increased by 500 percent since 1970. According to the World Health Organization any type of addiction is a disease. Generally people look at addicts with fear, anger and hatred. But a person suffering from a disease needs compassion and sympathy. We need to create awareness in society at large, to change the mindset of the people.

Rehabilitation begins with the process of detoxification, followed by regular counselling and therapy for the addict and the family. Regular followups by volunteers is a must for the success of the program.

This is a collaborative venture with the Jesuits of Patna and KHFH. The doctors, nurses and the pastors are open to have such services for the patients. The priests of Patna deanery are contacted to create awareness among the parishioners.

The alcohol rehabilitation center aims to begin an outreach program in a phased manner for school and college students in the near future. As of now, personal counselling and therapy are conducted at the hospital from Monday to Thursday between 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Regular awareness programs are being around Patna. Of the attendees, 125 people have been helped through counseling and therapy.

Jackulin Jesu, SCN, administrator of KHFH is at the forefront in playing a key role in public health awareness through this and other programs. She said that through newspaper reports, it is very much evident that addiction not only puts a person into financial crisis, but also robs the peace and happiness of the whole family. The onus lies on all of us. Let us come together and contribute towards building a addiction-free society.

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