Patan Hospital starts treatment of alcoholics

Lalitpur, September 15:

The Patan Hospital started ‘Service and Training for Alcohol Recovery Treatment’ (START) from today with a view to helping alcoholics through recovery programmes.

The START is free of cost, which runs for three days a week — Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 5 pm. The two-year-long project is being funded by World Vision. “A few Nepalis know that alcoholism is a disease that can be treated effectively through local support groups organised independently or through hospitals, clinics, schools, spiritual institutions or community programmes,” said Mike Krajniak, technical advisor to START.

“Many people in the country are born with low tolerance to alcohol which will create a big problem in the later part of their lives,” he said. “Recovery is not possible without behavioural changes — mental, physical, social and spiritual,” said Krajniak. “Understanding addiction helps the recovery process.”

The project will address the needs of the alcoholics with the help of family members and medical persons. Dr Mark Zimmerman, medical director at the Patan Hospital, said the hospital has witnessed considerable increase in direct and indirect alcohol-related medical problems over the years. “There aren’t any NGOs dealing with alcoholism while hundreds of them are involved in HIV and drug-related programmes,” said Dr Zimmerman. Sthaneshwor Devkota, Chief District Officer of Lalitpur, said alcoholism is a major problem in Nepal, as police and CDO face at least five alcohol abuse cases everyday. Dave Purnell, director at the World Vision, said recovery programmes would benefit the alcohol addicts.