Seeking way out

Seeking way out
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An 18-year old guy sought advice from listeners of a popular call-in radio program. Though he did not tag himself as drug addict but he sounded like he suspected that he already became a drug dependent. He wanted to stop using drugs but he does not know what to do.

Substance abuse and chemical dependency is common among teens. The 18-year old guy is just one of those who are seeking way out, yet continue to get enslaved with dependency. A friend opined that the solution is simple; stop using drugs and the dependent will be out of dependency. I find it logical but I wonder why such simple logic seems to be very difficult to implement. Many have proposed that drug lords and drug peddlers must be persecuted. If there are no sellers, there will be no buyers. But isn’t the producer produce because the market exists? It’s just like debating on which comes first, egg or chicken!

It is indeed difficult to get out from drug dependency.

The good news: there are ways out!

The 18-year old caller did the first move. The first important move for a dependent to get out from dependency is admission that he has the problem and that he needs help. The logic is simple. Identifying the problem before seeking solutions. If he was still on denial stage, it will be difficult to help him.

Some advised the caller to divert his attention to other things such as sports. Good advice, indeed! Craving for drugs is not only physical but psychological as well. It is also about setting one’s mind. Of course, it has also something to do with the dependent’s association. If he continues to associate with his friend who are using drugs, go to places that may trigger his desire to use drugs, or plunge into the situation that ignite craving, then, he likely aggravate his problem. Lifestyle check is important.

It is always safe to seek professional help. The caller may opt to rehabilitation programs. It may be expensive but it is of great help. However, rehabilitation is not a guaranty for recovery. There are many cases where one has graduated from one chemical dependency treatment center to another, yet he goes back to what he used to be. It is because recovery is a choice and treatment or rehabilitation is just a help. To add, recovery are both decision and commitment.

I think the most important is the support group for those who are seeking recovery. The help and support of the family counts most.

We are in a culture where drug dependency is condemned. I don’t question that but it goes beyond. Instead of the action, we sometimes mistakingly condemn the person. By doing such, we send a message to drug dependent that they are outcasts of the society. In effect, the dependent will continue to seek refuge under the chemical influence.

I believe that the best thing we can do is to create an atmosphere where those who have chemical dependency problem becomes more open. This kind of atmosphere discourages someone to mistakingly seek temporary “shelter” through chemicals. You may have noticed that I try to avoid the term drug addict because I have realized that the term addict carry different meaning. It becomes synonymous to contagious disease. But I find the term addiction safe to use.

A ridiculous advice surfaced. Someone said that the caller drink beer or liquor when he craves for drugs! I think it is a big mistake to say that drinking liquor is better than taking drugs. Both are intoxicating substance. Besides, liquor and drugs are closely associated. A drunk person most likely can’t control the impulse to take drugs, as those who had took drugs most likely want to drink liquor.

From the mixed reactions of those participated in the radio program, I find it safe to conclude that we still need more so that we understand drug dependency – a social problem that persist despite of the efforts exerted to eradicate it.

As responsible member of our community, each has responsibility to take part.

Postscript:
An interesting fact was revealed by the caller. He mentioned that he bought and took up “shabu” in Duljo Fatima, A. Lopez, and Pasil. Are these places the hotspots in Cebu? Just asking..

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by Jerry G. Gervacio
Mandaue City, June 2007

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