The Edhi Foundation offers addicts a free rehabilitation at their centre in Karachi. Treatment is basic and consists of providing a drug-free environment. Only sedative injections and paracetamol are available for pain relief, methadone is rarely available and unaffordable. This cure is called “Cold Turkey” and consists of abruptly taking away a drug to which one is addicted, provoking severe pain, anxiety and mental distress. Although the patient will end the physical need for heroin after 7-10 days, it does not stop the psychological dependency. Many patients that leave the centre will unfortunately be brought back at a later stage, other will develop severe mental illnesses.
The Edhi Foundation does a remarkable job in providing support through their homes to the most vulnerable with very limited resources. Unfortunately the needs are so immense in terms of mental health care and addiction rehabilitation that larger multi disciplinary involvement is essential.