From chasing cars to banging desks, we’ve seen it all when it comes to TV news tamasha around ‘drugs’ – whether it is picking apart Deepika Padukone’s “maal chats” or hounding Rhea Chakrobarty on her “drug preference”. But all those cringe telecasts from the past two years pale against real stories of addiction we picked up for the Assembly Election 2022 coverage in Punjab.
While TV news only ever used the subject as a distraction technique, drug abuse and addiction were real issues on ground as Punjab went to polls this month. We spoke to a young man and his father at a government de-addiction centre, struggling with heroin use.
We also met Dr Bhatia, founder of a Neuropsychiatrist Hospital in Amritsar and some of his patients who were recovering from different kinds of dependencies. Dr Bhatia spoke about how detrimental humiliation and shame can be for victims of addiction, and how the media contributes to the social stigmatisation of drug abuse.