Mumbai: Son of late legendary actress Smita Patil and veteran actor Raj Babbar, Prateik Babbar, had the perfect start to his Bollywood career when he starred in Aamir Khan Productions’ sleeper hit ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’ alongside Genelia D’Souza and Imran Khan.
But after a not-so-successful film (Dhobi Ghat) with first-time director Kiran Rao, life took a drastic turn and he lost sight of who he was. Flop films, drug addiction and a troubled family life, young Prateik Babbar had a lot to deal with.
Clean for over a year now, a very ‘confident and stronger’ Prateik revealed to a leading tabloid how he gave in to the lure of drugs and his subsequent victory over it.
He started substance abuse at the ripe age of 13
“My struggle with drugs started before high school. Sports and music were constructive escapes for a while, but, they could only suffice for so long. My first real drug was a disturbed childhood. Constantly faced with internal dilemma, the voices in my head debating where I belong and who I am, drugs came disguised as a glitzy escape. As years went by, I got acquainted with the narcotic underbelly, which led me to my first run-in with drugs at the age of 13.”
He could not even get out of his bed without a little help from drugs, any form of drug for that matter
“Getting out of bed was almost impossible; nausea greeted me each morning, my body ached and I oscillated between hot and cold every few minutes. At that point, I didn’t even have a drug of choice, I took whatever I could lay my hands on.”
“A drug overdose made me sit up and take note of the monster I had become. I couldn’t recognise the man I saw in the mirror. I decided to finally seek professional help. I was up for any sort of withdrawal symptoms. Drugs had consumed my brain to such an extent that even after a detox, it continued to hold some real estate up there. I spent three weeks in rehab trying to convince everyone I had beaten my addiction. But now, I am stronger, confident that whatever tribulations befall me, I will heal.”
A new start
“The only way to keep cynicism at bay is by sharing the emotions that fuelled my addiction in the first place. The second is to break the stigma associated with addiction. I want to tell every addict that there is assistance. I can’t promise that it will be easy, but I can assure you that it will be simpler than following a life that will eventually destroy you, and everything you love.”