Addiction is an emerging non-communicable illness. The negative impact of addiction in our society is devastating. The current model of care in addiction is either strongly biomedical or strictly spiritual. They emphasize complete abstinence whilst not taking into consideration the range of socio-cultural issues often perpetuating relapse.
The journey of Nashamitra was prompted by the urgent need of a community from the far North Eastern part of India. This is a geographically and economically disadvantaged area of India, where there is no support available for addiction problems. However, addiction is a huge problem in the community, affecting almost every household. It is heart-rendering to see how addiction problems are derailing not only the addicted person but their whole family. Unfortunately, their family often becomes a helpless recipient of relentless consequences of addiction. Undoubtedly, addiction problem is not confined to this community only; it reflects the story of many other communities.
Nashamitra is an innovative effort with a far reaching perspective on upliftment of the life of addicted people and their family. Nashamitra is a first of this kind initiative which has endeavoured to integrate public health, mental health, and health sociological perspective to addiction problems. This program is determined to meet the basic needs of its members through employment in a locally sustainable way. It aims at actively engaging and helping the entire family of an addicted person because addiction is known to significantly affect the well-being of the whole family.