Myanmar – Don Bosco’s fight against drug

17 August 2016

(ANS – Myitkyina) – Don Bosco Vocation Training Center (DBVTC) in Myitkina (Kachin State – North of Myanmar) was open 15 years ago and is developing according the needs of the local youth in need. Among the 77 boys and 37 girls of DBVTC in Myitkina are many youngsters of 14-32 years of age with drug addiction experience. One of them, heading from traditional Catholic familiy and being active in his local villages, is happy to share his experience of being born again after a long nightmare with drug addiction.

By Fr. Victor Khun Myat Aung, SDB

How did you start taking the drugs?

During a secondary school, I have starting with the tablets. Friends invited me: Let’s try with black opium. After a first inhalation followed later a white opium inhalation and I ended with a habit of injection. (…) I was 16 years old!

How did you see now your 6-9 months experience in the Protestant rehabilitation center?

My parents and relatives were eager to rescue me from the drug dependence and brought me handcuffed to the rehabilitation center. After first months of resentment I realized the need to stand up, but the environment around me after ending the rehab period didn’t help me to recover completely in front of the daily temptation. During the time in rehabilitation centers I learn to love the Bible, due to daily 6 hours study and sharing with the protestant pastors! However I was also scared due to the strict regulations of community life, where the ordinary punishment was the feet and handcuffing for one whole weak! But slowly I realized the futility of drugs and need to improve and start a new life.

How to prevent the drug addiction?

I would tell other youngster, if you start, you need the money for the rest of your life… enough budget, since it’s difficult to control! I would tell them – don’t believe your friends about good feeling of opium, it passes fast. I felt that I was discriminated, other looking down at me. I would tell: avoid this handicap among your friends!

What is your life dream?

After get rid out of drugs, I would like to pursue a decent job later on. Now learning the cell phone repair, I dream to open a small shop. With my conviction I would like also to serve other needed people around me.

How do you like your one year stay in Don Bosco?

I’m convinced to change my life here and build it better. DBVTC can change my life. I liked most the faith education, catechesis. I like Salesians who used to remind us ‘you have to do all with conviction, and growth your duties as well as you can’.

In the most peace-fragile State of Myanmar many people fall easily victims of drug addiction. Salesians are looking forwards for some experienced Salesian in the de-addiction ministry!

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ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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