Vietnamese man single-handedly fights drug habit, wins

By Quynh Tran   March 18, 2019 | 10:35 am GMT+7

Despite losing an arm to a police bullet, Do Hoang Toan has painstakingly rebuilt his life to script an inspiring story.

Man start new life after years of being a drug addict - 2

Do Hoang Toan, 64, of the southern Binh Duong Province became a drug addict as an adolescent. He joined gangs that went around stealing from other people to feed their habit.

Over ten years, he visited drug abuse rehabilitation centers twice. When he became addicted to drugs, his wife left him. It was not until he was 30 that he finally awakened.

Man start new life after years of being a drug addict

Toan said he started to become an addict after winning a lottery at 17. "With money, and the silliness of a teen boy, I threw myself into a playboy life," he said. "My friends challenged me to inhale some drugs and I just did it."

One time he got arrested and when he tried to escape, he got shot and lost his left arm. But that didn't stop him. The deciding moment came when he witnessed a friend die after injecting soy sauce to cure a drug craving. "That was when I decided to quit, whatever it took."

Man start new life after years of being a drug addict - 1

In 1986, he decided to try some home treatments. Since addicts are often afraid of water, he took baths to try and stop his cravings. Toan also wanted to rebuild his strength so he started exercising and yoga, particularly headstand meditating. After hard training, he gradually forgot about drugs.

Vietnamese man single-handedly fights drug habit, wins - 3

"Meditation gives me peace of mind. Doing headstands will increase blood flow to the brain so it helps avoid aging. Having good physical health really helped me beat the addiction," he added.

His perseverance has helped Toan move on from his dark past and start a new life.

"After quitting, I cut ties with my old friends and found myself a job. Now I have learnt that the most important thing in life is not money, but health and peace," he said.

Man start new life after years of being a drug addict - 4

In 1998, healthy and confident, he began dating again. He put himself out there by posting a letter looking for partners in the newspaper. Several months after he got a reply from Le Thanh Thuy, 47, they got married.

"He did not hesitate to tell me his past. He was sincere, gentle and always worked hard to support the family," she said.

Man start new life after years of being a drug addict - 5

They have two children. The eldest son, 18, is serving in the army, and the daughter is 10 years old.

Vietnamese man single-handedly fights drug habit, wins - 6

Toan earns a living by renting out tables, chairs and other things for small events.

"I can only find customers during the Tet (Lunar New Year) season and the weekends. My wife also comes with me to set everything up. The income is not that great but it is enough to cover most expenses," he said.

Vietnamese man single-handedly fights drug habit, wins - 7

Despite having to rent out half of his house, Toan has a home filled with the warmth of an affectionate family.

 
 
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