A patient ( Mr A) suggested another patient ( Mr B) struggling with BS addiction to stop medicine in our hospital. Mr B started reducing his medicine on his own . During my evening round @ 7pm today, Mr B shared the reason for reducing medicine under the advise of Mr A. Now he does not want to continue medicine but will try to overcome BS addiction with his willpower.
Both of these patients are chronic users of drugs, and had tried OST therapy to keep themselves clean for a while. Unfortunately both of them used to abuse drugs while taking OST. When they could no longer bear the pain and sufferings of drug withdrawals, they contacted me for emergency admission.
If a person cannot understand simple information " Addiction is a medical disease as per WHO" which needs medical attention & treatment.
I wonder whether most of our patient can understand structured counseling (therapy) session to help them to adopt new healthy thinking pattern, regulate their emotions, cope with setbacks & failures, identify one's strength, resources & faulty behavioral habits and change their lifestyles apart from relapse prevention therapy and long term psychosocial rehabilitation intervention.
This is a very common scenario in our hospital wherein people seek help primarily to manage either drug withdrawal symptoms or cope with crisis situation or escape legal problems. Once their pain and sufferings subsides, few of them continue to show concerns regarding medicines believing that it is harmful.
I hope everyone agrees that BS addiction is a chronic and relapsing disease. More than 99% of BS users restart misusing drugs within a few weeks of abstinence if they are not engaged with treatment providers.
Quitting is easy in controlled environment such as hospital and rehabilitation centers because you are cut off from your peers, peddlers, and places where drugs are available in plenty.
The most challenging aspect of recovery is maintaining abstinence in the community where you are bombarded with drug using peers, peddlers, stress, responsibilities, failures, and freedom to take your own decision and choices. It's like going to a war in the borders where you are vulnerable to breakdown at any moments when exposed to environmental cues.
Therefore, medicine is like a bullet proof jacket that can save you from being hit thereby helping you to stay away from drugs. Medicine also has a preventive value especially in environment where drugs is a new social trend in the community.
The choice is yours whether you want to wear bullet proof jacket or fight without wearing any protection.
Dr Satish Rasaily
Drug Deaddiction Medicine Specialist