Addiction of Alcohol, Drugs and other narcotics is a world wide phenomenon where very less people seek medical treatment. This is because of many reasons for example personal fear of addicts about exposure in the society, doubts about the nature of treatment, fear as to how to tolerate the withdrawal symptoms, underestimating the severity of the disease and overestimating their ability to control the addiction and notably treatment mostly not covered by insurance. This callousness also involves attitude of the community towards addicts as mostly they are considered as criminals and unworthy elements in the society. Not only family members and friends, most of the medical practitioners also don’t recognize this problem may be due to lack of education about alcohol & drugs in undergraduate medical syllabus and many physicians feel that addiction is not treatable. Nowadays, many physicians themselves use these addictive substances and therefore, create in them a moral dilemma about treating such cases
Many lives could have been saved if treated in the early stages of addiction. For treatment of addiction, the most important role should be played by family members.
- They should treat him/her with love & affection just as a patient having other life-threatening diseases
- They should not quarrel or argue with him/her when under addiction.
- They should not be suspicious all the time about his/her addiction and take care about their health, food, medication and other needs.
- As it is a chronic disease of brain so, they should be patient & continue the treatment religiously till complete recovery.
What we can do?
Ask– addicts about their addiction
Advise –about quitting addiction by showing them about bad effects of these substances on health and later adverse effects on family
Assess– know about their desire to leave the addiction
Assist– take them to appropriate medical practitioner or to a rehabilitation center
Arrange – when fully treated engage them in some job or activity to normalize the things
As per the report recently released in USA “Facing Addiction in America only one out of 10 addicts seeks the treatment of addiction so rest nine suffers the late effects of the addiction which can be prevented and many lives can be saved. So, treat the addiction early as addiction treatment is effective, prevention always works and recovery is possible.
Dr. P. C. Jain M.B.B.S.
Medical Practitioner, De-addiction expert and doing awareness among masses about problem of addiction in Rajasthan, India. Invited to give presentations at Sikh Centers, Houston, USA, Radio talk on Radio Punjab, Interview on NNN Channel about addiction and role of society for its treatment.