Do not abuse a drug abuser , treat his disease instead : here is why?
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Do not abuse a drug abuser , treat his disease instead : here is why?

Contributed by 

Dr Arif Maghribi Khan


 “This year, WHO declared the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking day under the theme of

“Addressing drug challenges in health and humanitarian crises” 

If you ask me in short what is remedy?

I will say again and again “Medical Treatment mixed with an unconditional love is key to treat Drug abuse”.

I hope together , we can help more and more drug abusers 

For the sake of clarity I will need to explain stages of drug abuse in a very simple language not strictly medical, so that we understand drug abuser is a victim and needs treatment like any other illness.

How it begins ?

Stage 1 : It begins as a pleasure .On  the ill advice of friends or peer pressure added to this a free  availability of drugs the person starts  taking drugs least knowing that he/she will get trapped . 

Another cause among adolescents can be parental pressure towards progress 

There can be varied reasons for taking drugs from break ups with girl or boy friend, seeing parents having quarrels on regular basis, childhood sexual abuse [ usually by a close relative or family friend].

What happens next to this brief pleasure?

After some time, the victim wants to give up drugs as pleasure of taking drugs has now become a pain, emotional as well as physical.

Now drug abuser always thinks of drugs, can reduce drug dosage or even abstain for few days. This is the stage when he reduces spending on non-drug expenses. Middle Stage:

Stage of tolerance begins  [if previously he was using 6 tablets of Alprazolam or Librosar he/she uses 10 tablets per day, or even can add cannabis to his drug usage. Personal hygiene is very appalling.

By now the victim has hidden supply of drugs, drug abuser is desperate.

The victim  can sell his assets for pennis to obtain his need , the nasty drugs.

3rd and 4th Stage:

This is the stage when drug abuser is totally under control of multiple drugs but tries hard to give up drugs; he is in agony and pain while the family or friends think he is enjoying drugs and call him by derogatory names.

The line between regular use and risky use/abuse is a very thin one, but is usually defined as continued use of drugs in spite of severe social and legal consequences. What might have begun as a temporary form of escape can quickly lead to more serious problems!

This is the stage where the warning signs of addiction will begin to appear: craving, preoccupation with the drug, and symptoms of depression, irritability and fatigue if the drug is not used.

Physical dependence on a drug is often intertwined with addiction.

Characteristics of dependence and drug addiction include withdrawal symptoms and compulsive use of the drug despite severe negative consequences to his or her relationships, physical and mental health, personal finances, job security and criminal record.

Withdrawal Symptoms:

When a drug abuser starts to give up drugs the victim  experiences severe symptoms 

  • severest of severe back pain,
  • abnormal heart palpitations,
  • drenching in sweat,
  • loose motions.

Number of drug abusers vary from country to country or from state to state but is alarming at all places 

It is impossible for any government to reach all drug abusers, so we can create locality wise health centers’ where general health as well as mental health counseling or guidance can be done.

If civil society opens a drug de addiction in any locality, no one will go there because of stigma attached with mental health disorders in general and especially drug abuse. So we can instead name it as HEALTH CENTRE instead of DRUG DE ADDICTION COUNSELLING CENTRE.

In such a ground level unique initiative following help can be given by following people on full time or part time basis.

  •  One qualified Psychiatrist who has one counselor can guide patients of drug abuse , many a times people do not know about various facilities provided by government.
  •  Role of Rich and well established industries is also important, although many can help by spreading awareness on drug abuse , for a start let us not use derogatory terms like “Drug ADDICTS , instead use drug ABUSERS.
  • If we want drug abusers to take medical help or remain drug free after rehabilitation, then giving respect and earning trust is must.
  •  Monetary help to organizations working on drug abuse for conducting screening camps, giving jobs to former drug abuser and at least the ratio should be 1:3.
  • Imparting skills to former drug abusers so that their self esteem is enhanced and they don’t fall in trap of drug mafia.
  • Don’ts •
  • Please don’t lock drug abuser in a room, thinking his habit will die.The victim may die due to a  heart attack. 
  • If drug abuser has stopped taking drugs don’t remind him/her of his past deeds. Give him hope!
  • Religious preachers of all religions, teachers, social workers have important role in identification and prevention of drug abuse which they must place all around the globe 

To conclude

DO NOT ABUSE A DRUG ABUSERS, IT IS SIMPLY A DISEASE & requires treatment like any other disease  .

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