22 June 2012

International Drug Awareness Day: how can we change a life in 20 days

On 26 June the global spotlight falls on addiction, we look at the concerning statistics regarding drug abuse as well as the role of rehabilitation in the treatment of addiction.



On 26 June the global spotlight falls on addiction and we look at the concerning statistics regarding drug abuse as well as the role of rehabilitation in the treatment of addiction.

According to the latest statistics (November 2011) from SACENDU, a division of the Medical Research Council,  28% of total admissions to rehabilitation programmes in the Western Cape can be attributed to Alcohol, 35 % to Methamphetamines (also known as Tik),  18 %  to  Dagga (with a very concerning 61% for under 20’s), 13 % to Heroin  and  15 % to  a Dagga-Mandrax combination (white pipe).

The impact of addiction on society is far reaching. It is placing more pressure on medical aids than ever before as payment for not only the addiction, but also related illnesses due to the addiction, takes place.  In addition, the legal system is under pressure due to the ever increasing crime rate, with 50 % of all crimes that can now be attributed to substance abuse. The loss of productivity in the workplace is also costing the economy millions.

Yet, society is asked not to judge. Nobody chooses to become addicted and it is a gradual, yet degrading, physical and psychological process.

According to Denise Mulder, a clinical psychologist at Ramot (a treatment centre for addiction in Parow) the abuse of psycho-active substances has become the solution for people to escape from their harsh realities and “even prescription drugs have become a problem” as it is used as a crutch to overcome daily challenges.

 Addiction is defined by a loss of control, despite the negative consequences.  “The addiction causes a psychological inability by a person to handle problems. Due to the immense psychological and physiological problems caused by drug abuse, it is interesting to note that after a while addicts no longer use the drugs to feel better, but merely to function normally” says Mulder.

Substance abuse on the rise

The increase in substance abuse requires a dynamic, yet sympathetic approach by service providers. Johan Louw, Executive Officer at Ramot says: “We are proud of our facilities and the versatile and professional approach of our staff.

Our reputation is founded on our interaction with and support of our patients. To rise above the immense challenges, we do not only need to create awareness for the problem, but also aggressively work at making our facilities accessible to everyone.

We are currently targeting the HR departments of large corporates, medical practitioners, medical aids and the general public. We are also proactively sourcing subsidies to assist the market segment of which the workers are economically active, but not necessarily able to afford a medical aid.”

Ramot offers a 20-day in-patient programme (which is preceded by a 5-day detoxification process) and sees addiction as a treatable condition, where behavioural- and lifestyle changes are necessary.

What the facilities offer

Patients are closely monitored and assisted to safely withdraw from addictive substances through the help of medication. A psychological climate, conducive to withdrawal is created.  The centre follows a client centred approach and each person is treated as an individual.

Patients are, despite the kind of addiction they are suffering from, kept responsible for their actions and choices during the programme.  Relapse is not seen as a failure, but as part of the recovery process and a person can be admitted again for further treatment

Ramot, a programme of BADISA, follows a  holistic approach that includes detoxification, psychotherapy, dietary advice, biokinetics, spiritual guidance and creative activities.  Ramot also brings over 50 years of expertise in the field of addiction.

On 3 August, Ramot will be hosting a free workshop for companies, with the aim of establishing and implementing a drug policy as per the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.  The important factors regarding implementation and monitoring will be discussed.

More information

Interested parties can contact Ramot on 021 939 2033 

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