Gihan* was born into a privileged family in Colombo that owned a thriving business in selling fish and dried fish. Gihan was only 19 years old when he first experimented with drugs. As the years progressed, Gihan’s addiction worsened and his relationship with his family deteriorated. As a result of the numerous arguments he had with his parents, they exiled 24-year-old Gihan to India with the intention of giving him in marriage. However, their plan did not come to fruition; Gihan returned to Sri Lanka by boat. In Sri Lanka, he continued with his former lifestyle until a friend introduced him to Power House – a drug rehabilitation centre. Gihan was able to reform his former habits with the help of the mentoring and ministrations he received during his 6 months stay at Power House.
A reformed Gihan was welcomed back home, but the family reconciliation was short-lived. Two of Gihan’s siblings past away tragically and, unable to cope with his grief, Gihan returned to his addiction. This time Gihan did not get away easily; he was imprisoned for the use and possession of illegal substances.
“After serving a number of prison terms, I returned to Power House in 2011” recounts Gihan. His stay at Power House was extended to 2 years and he diligently participated in the rehabilitation process with the aim of turning his life around for good. It was while at Power House that Gihan met his wife. “It has been 6 years since I left Power House” says Gihan. “Thanks to the care I received at Power House, I am a changed man today and I am happily married. Power House has helped so many like me. A friend of mine who started using drugs with me and joined Power House with me, is a pastor in Kilinochchi today. We have turned our lives around and we will never look back.”
*Name has been changed to protect his identity.