Pokhara, March 9 Several drug addicts in Kaski have been rehabilitated successfully by the Oral Substitution Treatment Centre in Pokhara and they have returned home to take up jobs. The OSTC, which was set up at the Western Regional Hospital in 2009 has serviced and rehabilitated 425 persons so far. “Our objective was not just to help them kick addiction, it was also to prevent HIV and Hepatitis B among those using drugs,” said Dr Lipa Baidhya of OSTC. “Our motto was to help patients realise their strong will power so that they could get over the addiction in a short time,” she explained. As part of the treatment, drug addicts are given methadone, an opioid medication usually given to those addicted to heroin, that can be taken orally. Once the patients are brought to the centre, his/her condition is assessed and then the doctors prescribe necessary dosage of methadone or a similar drug. “Our method has been a success, partly because patients have to come to the centre in person to take the drug,” said Nurse Sarita Sapkota, adding that most of the patients visiting the centre are between ages 20 and 40. “The centre hasn’t only saved drug addicts from possible life-long addiction, but also helped change their lives completely by allowing them to live a normal life,” said Community Support Group Manager Nabin Tulachan. According to official data, there are around 6,900 people, including around 500 women, addicted to drugs in Kaski. Around 50 per cent of those individuals use syringe.