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Drug abuse is certainly one of the most concerning illnesses of the society affecting not only the person abusing the drug but even the larger aspect of the society. Because of this social cancer, there are many negative implications which affect even the social attitudes of persons. Withdrawal of people from this certain illness is one of the most effective measures in order to prevent further implications which may arise from it.
Technically, drug abuse or substance abuse, as it is sometimes called is the act of using prohibited drugs for self-sustaining or emotional sustaining purposes not for therapeutic reasons. Drug abuse is a highly complex system most especially in countries where the use of illegal drugs is tolerated but is a treatable disease (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2006). The use of drugs for satisfaction purposes is highly deemed as a criminal act not only because of the illegality in terms of doing it per se but because using it may lead to many circumstances which may endanger the lives of other people.
The Status Quo
Drug abuse is very rampant most especially in developed countries. In 2004 alone, there was an estimated need for almost 23 million Americans to undergo drug withdrawal treatment but sadly only more or less 4 million have received it (National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 2004). There is a dire call for eliminating if not lessening this situation in our society because gives us a lot of problems. There are many ways by which the government has helped in cleaning this issue regarding drug abuse and one of the ways they have promoted is through involving these persons who are dependent on drugs into programs which could help them withdraw from doing such.
Drug withdrawal programs; however, does not assure us that these drug dependents would become clean- as what these programs aim to accomplish. In real life cases, many drug dependents, after enrolling in such programs, don’t actually withstand their dependence and intolerance to drug. That is why; there is a relatively low turn out rate for these drug dependents to finish the program. And in cases where people finish the entire clean-up program, there is still a high chance for them to be drug dependent after some time- and this actually happens.
Since these drug prevention programs like withdrawal sessions are the only effective ways to reduce the number of drug dependents, there is a great need to improve the system so that the duration and the effect of the program would be desirable and beneficial. In real statistics, the cost of drug related cases has reached the almost 200 billion dollars in 2002 alone (NIDA, 2006). The government is spending the people’s money on these certain programs so a great amount of fund would be wasted if this case is not addressed immediately.
What We Can Do to Address the Problem
As health care providers and medical professionals, we are partly answerable to the people regarding this situation. It is our responsibility to respond and be proactive in these situations where the health, safety and productivity of the people is in peril.
Many would just say that this situation is uncontrollable but methinks that if there is a desire to help and participate, there is a way, no matter the consequences and outcomes may be. Helping drug withdrawal treatments does not actually necessitate you to administer drugs for drugs are not always the best option in this kind of disease.
The first thing I could do as a medical professional would be surveying the statistics- what are the number of turn outs in this kind of program, how many finish it, how many don’t, and the like. These statistics are important so that the manner of addressing these problems would be more motivated and purposive in a sense that there is a certain barrier that should be broken. Without knowing the baseline data, there would be fewer expectations on the part of the medical professional.
Another idea that they should incorporate is not to abruptly stop medications being taken (Lehmann, 2002). This is one pharmacological principle and may be helpful in order to successfully stop drug dependents from using drugs. By lessening the daily dose of a dependent gradually, there would come a time that the drug use can manage taking few drugs in a day and can actually to freeing him or her from addiction to that substance.
Also, keeping in mind that all individuals are different in terms of the treatment they need is important. There are many drug withdrawal treatments which actually treats every person enrolled like they are all suffering from the same cases which is actually wrong and unjust. It is important to focus on each individual as they surpass this challenge.
Readiness of the treatment team at all times and in all places is also necessary. One of the reasons why only few can avail of the treatment is that these treatments are unavailable especially in places where drug abuse is not that rampant.
Residence treatment is also a good option especially for those who are not fond of being too far from their families. In this way, the treatment becomes more private. Plus, there are available support systems such as the family members who could further help the patient recover, a type of emotional recovery which employs support such as hope, giving courage and complete self-appreciation (Breeding, 1998).
Lastly, continuity of care is a very vital part in the treatment of drug dependence. Failure of many health care providers is due to the fact that there is no continuity of care involved- that after the course of treatment, the patient can do whatever he wants to and ironically, uses drugs again. Proper endorsement to local health services or even to the family, themselves, is as important as the actual treatment per se.
Drug dependence withdrawal is a very effective measure of solving societal problems if and only if followed and implemented carefully and efficiently. Researches even suggest that effective withdrawal on drugs can cut the drug abuse phenomenon up to fifty percent and in turn, would reduce crimes up to more than 60% (National Treatment Improvement Evaluation Study, 1997).
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With these data, we can say that drug is really one of the strongest roots of all crimes and by directly cutting the root itself, we cane effectively combat the fruits which are crime and other forms of violence. Drug withdrawal treatment, I say, is supposed to be an effective measure of saving the society from harms that is why every citizen should be actively involved with implementing it, not just medical professionals. By working hand in hand, it is not really impossible to achieve a society which is free of drugs and violence.
Breeding, John. “Drug Withdrawal and Emotional Recovery “. The Rights Tenet. 1998. Web.
The National Treatment Improvement Evaluation Study (NTIES). Scientific Analysis and Synthesis. 1997. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “NIDA InfoFacts: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction”. US Department of Health and Human Services. 2006. Web.
Peter Lehmann. “Coming off Psychiatric Drugs.” Germany: Peter Lehmann Publishing. National Survey on Drug Use and Health.