Thoughts

Employing Social Change To Treating Addiction: What Are The Options?

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When we struggle with overcoming any form of addiction it’s all about the mindset we employ. As such, when it comes to treating addiction, we can feel that, as individuals, we don’t have the power to overcome these problems ourselves. But, as there are so many different treatments out there in the big wide world, are there things that we need to address on a social or political level to ensure that our local authorities can give us the tools in which to overcome addiction?

Changing The Perception Of Society

From drugs to alcohol to cigarettes, it’s important that the mindset of the people in positions of power change. It’s very easy for the average person to say that someone’s an addict, and they brought it upon themselves, but when we realize that addiction is a medical disease of the brain, and not necessarily a result of habit, once we hammer the point home to the powers that be, hopefully, this can begin to filter down through the local organizations, businesses, and authorities that have the power to make sufficient change. Once this happens, people can get better, but more importantly, get the help that they need.

A Wider Access To Medication

While there’s an abundance of natural remedies, every single addict has their own Achilles heel. This means that when there’s a craving, regardless of the substance, there needs to be wider access to the right medication. While there’s a lot of debate as to whether illegal substances should be legalized, it’s not for this writer to say, but what we can say is that the appropriate medication for the sufferer needs to be in abundance. This isn’t just the extreme lifesaving medications like methadone, but it’s the smaller remedies, like lab tested vape juices or herbal remedies that can prove to be effective depending on the individual. But the fact of the matter is, all these things cost money, but if we can provide a handful of distribution centers, or just supply a couple of vehicles, this addresses the problem in more deprived areas.

Technical And Personal Experts

It’s not just about drug policy, because a lot of addictions in the world are to taxable substances, like sugar. And while there are many governments making headway in terms of reducing sugar intake, and increasing the costs of alcohol, tobacco, and the dreaded sugar, we need wider educating on why these problems are in abundance. It’s not just about the technical expertise, but this can provide an understanding of the environmental problems that are underneath; it’s also about hearing the human aspect of the struggle. This boils down to the fact that so many of us have a stigma towards those with addiction. But when we look at the fact that anybody that has an addiction to a life-threatening substance, again, it’s about our belief that they brought it upon themselves. From an alcoholic’s perspective, it could be an inherited trait. Their parents were drinkers, and so it becomes a learned behavior in childhood. But it seems that in the modern age, we are not sympathetic to those that have a major addiction to a substance. And it’s more the fact that we need to learn from those that have been through the mill and come out the other side, but are also able to explain it in an erudite manner.

A Better Public Health Approach

Depending on where you are in the world, you may not have access to great healthcare, or maybe it comes with a cost. But if we are to tackle the approach to healthcare with multiple disciplines, not just treating the symptoms, but rather, addressing the underlying cause, as well as providing sufficient aftercare, we are able to educate and inform, as well as heal. Treatment is not a final solution to addiction. It’s also about ensuring that the triggers are addressed. If people have access to a doctor, as well as a social worker, and a psychiatrist or counselor, this approach to tackling addiction through many disciplines will begin to filter outwards.

Breaking Down The Barriers

One of the major problems in treating addiction is overkill in terms of the negative consequences. For example, there are so many campaigns that err on the side of abstinence, but this doesn’t treat the problem in a holistic manner. When people are undergoing treatment or help for addiction, they are on various parts of their journey. Either they are trying to address it before it gets worse, or they have experienced loss and pain over the years of addiction. Ultimately, we have to meet people at the point they are at during their journey. When it comes to something like drugs, if we didn’t automatically associate the negative consequences of drug use with sex work, infections, or stints in prison, but understand that addiction is something that anybody can suffer from, we are able to understand the topic, but also work to create safer and healthier communities.

This is all about education, rather than just segregating the supposed “culprits.” As addiction is something that is only truly understood when you’ve been through it yourself, this is where education becomes invaluable. Talking about this in schools, rather than employing the whole “just say no” approach can make children sit up and understand the consequences of going through this. It’s far better for us to explain why something shouldn’t be done, rather than saying it’s off limits!

Can We Make A Change?

Employing a mindset to overcoming addiction isn’t just about what happens after someone goes to rehab. It’s about understanding what addiction is before it becomes prevalent in the sufferer’s mind. Treating addiction isn’t just about one method. On a social level, it’s important to change the perception of society, and realize that anybody can suffer from this, not just criminals and layabouts. And once we all understand that we could fall prey to something like this, this means we are better off helping everyone. And after all, if we help everyone else, this compounds and snowballs into a far better approach, not just on a local level, but on a global one.

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