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Germany

How Dogs Can Help Owners Overcome Drug Addiction

How Dogs Can Help Owners Overcome Drug Addiction

Man's best friends have long followed their owners through hard times and stormy weather — and now, even into rehab.

Germany's Schloss Tessin center is the first of its kind in the country and integrates pooches as part of the therapeutical process, Die Welt reports.

The center has even been adapted to accommodate its four-legged guests. In the patients' rooms, for example, the beds are too high for the dogs to jump onto so special sleeping areas were constructed underneath for them. At the moment there are 47 patients and 25 dogs at the center.

Psychiatrist and head doctor at Schloss Tessin Alf Kroker sees big advantages in using the bonds patients have to their dogs in therapy. "Many addicts have broken off all social contact," he told Die Welt. "The central focus of their life became consuming drugs — everything revolved around getting hold of heroin, cocaine, hash, crystal meth or other substances. So, relationships with family and friends went by the wayside and the connection to their dog is often the only relationship that survives."

He adds that many addicts would refuse treatment if it meant being away from their beloved pet. "The animal is trusted unconditionally, it’s like their child, but is also a competent protector," says Kroker.

Other experts have reacted positively to the center's new canine policy. "Animals can give structure to the day and the patient is cast in a positive role as carer," says Ingrid Stephan, who heads the Institute for Social Learning with Animals in Lindwedel near Hannover.

Photo: emma.kate

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Society

Tales From A Blushing Nation: Exploring India's 'Issues' With Love And Sex

Why is it that this nation of a billion-plus has such problems with intimacy and romance?

Photo of Indian romance statues

Indian romance statues

Sreemanti Sengupta

KOLKATA — To a foreigner, India may seem to be a country obsessed with romance. What with the booming Bollywood film industry which tirelessly churns out tales of love and glory clothed in brilliant dance and action sequences, a history etched with ideal romantics like Laila-Majnu or the fact that the Taj Mahal has immortalised the love between king Shahjahan and queen Mumtaz.

It is difficult to fathom how this country with a billion-plus population routinely gets red in the face at the slightest hint or mention of sex.

It therefore may have come as a shock to many when the ‘couple-friendly’ hospitality brand OYO announced that they are “extremely humbled to share that we observed a record 90.57% increase in Valentine’s Day bookings across India.”

What does that say about India’s romantic culture?

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