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Substance abuse

Substance abuse is the main enemy of humanity today. Drugs are agents of slow killing that can catch us unaware.

This problem affects not only the victims and the helpers but the whole community. The whole community needs to inform of a concerted fight against this common enemy.

Substance abuse is a state –psychic and physical characterized by the compulsion to take the drug on a continuous; or periodic basis in order to enjoy its psychic effects; and also to avoid the discomfort of its absence, tolerance is present and person may be dependent on one or more drugs.

Substance Abuse

Drug abuse refers to ‘Taking a drug for other than medical reasons in amount, strength or frequency that damage the physical and mental functions’.

Addiction is a state of physical or psychological dependence; or both, in-person who has taken the drug periodically or continually. People abuse substances when they want to experiment, to be one of the gang; to become more creative, to escape unhappiness to reduce anxiety and tension, etc.

The substance to which addiction do frequently observed are opium, tobacco, heroin, brown sugar, etc.

Substance Abuse Definition

Firstly, the Consumption of drugs to obtain a sense of well-being even though there is no indication on medical grounds.

Secondly, the Increased requirement of the drug to get the ‘kick’ because of the development of tolerance to the drug.

Thirdly, physical and psychological dependence on the drug to obtain relief from mental anguish.

Fourth, Physiological and psychological withdrawal symptoms when the patient abstains from the drug.

Drug culture

Advertisements on television and in other media promise to make you feel happier younger, more attractive, and less tense. They persuade people to buy over-the-counter drugs as a means of relief from suffering and to create wonderful results but also that drugs are harmless.

Symptoms of addiction

  • Secondly, Change in physical conditions- pretending to be drunk, slurred speech or overemphasis on words; red eyes or watering eyes, complaining of regular illness to hide the effects of drugs; loss of short-term memory, craving for sweets, occasional vomits late nights, etc.
  • Thirdly, Persistent and frequent thinking about the activity throughout the day.
  • Fourthly, the Inability to control, or stop the behavior, even after being aware of debilitating effects.

Effect of drug abuse

Erosion of moral values, frustrations arising out of socio-economic problems; gradual slackening of parental control, chronic pains, disturbances of sleep, suicide and accident deaths,

Treatment and prevention

Treatment was very difficult and unsatisfactory. Withdrawal of the drug, slowly or abruptly, is important, hospitalisation with round-the-clock vigilance is necessary.

Withdrawal symptoms do treat symptomatically as well as by giving adequate doses of tranquilizers and narcoleptics. Psychotherapy, as well as counseling, is recommended to correct the basic psychopathology.

Social treatment

If he has good motivation and with the help of medical treatment; he has recovered from his condition. The case further takes up social casework.

Most of the addicts does not well accept by their family members; since they do not regular on their job there are financial liabilities and difficulties, and often the interpersonal relationship strain.

Also, they are social outcasts, hence after recovery; the patient is hesitant to go back into the same environment. A regular follow-up maintains after his discharge from the hospital for periodic checkups.

Group therapy sessions for a number of addicts and ex-addicts arrange jointly by the psychiatrist and counselor. Patients are encouraged to attend self-help groups like alcoholic anonymous.

Role of the church

They should recognize the psychological and developmental problems; and approach them with sympathy to these facts of life. The church should open centers for treatment; and rehabilitation which does not profit-oriented.

Organize programs for family enrichments and awareness education. The church should have more trained counselors, especially pastors.

A child brought up with a strong sense of religious values may not easily take up drugs as a solution to life’s problems. The church should therefore have greater concern in combating this evil.

Pastoral role

Drug addiction is a medical problem in which the pastors may not have the right knowledge to handle the addicts. However, the pastor, with his/her healthy theology can help people find life’s meaning and its moral purpose.

There have been testimonies from the recovered addicts that they could come back to life only; when they recognized the power beyond, God.