Prateik Babbar, son of the late Smita Patil and actor-politician Raj Babbar, has spoken about marking one year of staying clear of drugs. He spoke about his journey into addiction, and how certain drugs were simply not enough for him. Revealing a dark part of his life, Prateik recalled how he lay in vomit, face down on the floor during one of his drug taking days. He also dwelled upon going into rehab and how there is always the fear of drugs claiming him again, even though he is in a happier space now.

Full marks to Prateik for his candour on a subject most celebrities would never admit to. Talking about the slide into the abyss, shows that he has the courage to show his vulnerabilities to the world. When a famous name and face shows the weaker, human side of their struggle, it resonates hugely with people. It has better recall because of the fame attached to the person, which makes a difference because it commands more attention than an ordinary person’s account.

It is always good to hear a celebrity give an honest, raw account like this, because the message they deliver is that it can happen to anybody, and that there is always a way out. It helps clear the taboo around the subject and helps others to come forward with less fear of being shamed for it. The first step is always to admit that one has a problem.

When Deepika Padukone spoke about depression, it shone the spotlight on a malaise that is still not treated with the seriousness it deserves. When Aishwarya Rai became a brand ambassador for pledging one’s eyes, organ donation got a boost. Prateik’s account proves that Bollywood’s known and own can have very serious problems, and that they can be courageous enough to bare their frailties and fears before the world.