Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Batswana get perpetually stoned because they don’t check in rehabs

The concomitant problems of alcohol abuse, tobacco, and illegal drug use are pervasive throughout the country.

The benefits of treatment far outweigh the economic costs.

Despite the availability of treatment services, majority of substance abusers do not seek or use treatment.

Women, adolescents, and young adults are especially vulnerable to the adverse effects of substance abuse, but they face additional barriers to getting evidence-based treatment or other social/medical services.

If you or a loved one is suffering from drug addiction, you may be looking for help curing the disease. One of the most well-known methods is through a drug rehab.

However, many people don’t realize that “drug rehab” is a broad-encompassing term that represents various treatment methods. The type of drug rehab that you choose could depend on an array of factors.

Treating addiction will typically require several components due to the complexity of its nature and treatment will include a variety of pharmacological and behavioural approaches.

A lot of people battling addiction require treatment to recover. Some people can quit using alcohol or other drugs with the help of family, friends or support groups. However, some cannot. A few of the lucky ones recognize the problem early, swallow their pride, and seek help. The majority, have an attitude –an attitude that says, “No one is going to tell me what to do!”

One person may need only a few counselling sessions. Another might need a few months in a residential setting. Getting help for addiction isn’t easy though. Withdrawal symptoms and cravings as well as triggers can discourage people from trying to quit.

Many parts of society condemn experimenting with drugs, leading many people to hide their addiction. Denial, stigma, lack of awareness or knowledge, psychological characteristics, lifestyles and environmental factors all contribute to the excuses.

Many barriers exist that prevent those who need treatment from seeking or receiving the required care. Recognition that a problem exists may be the first obstacle standing in the way of sobriety. “I don’t have a problem” and “I can quit on my own “- Denial, or the idea that treatment is either unnecessary or ineffectual, may be an internal barrier preventing substance abusers from seeking help.

Speaking to the Sunday Standard Lifestyle, Bissau Gaobakwe, owner of the first private rehab in the country said: “The thing about rehabilitation centres is, they can never function or work without the help of the government. It is high time government comes to terms with the fact that drugs are there and many young people need help.”

The reason people self-medicate is ascribed to dealing with uncertainties, anxieties, depressions etc and lack of income is the main cause of this which causes a ripple effect hence we see a lot of broken families etc.

“We need to start treating addiction like a medical condition and give it equal amounts of attention. The way things work at our rehab is, treatment is done for a minimal of three weeks to three months, this is because, it takes 3 weeks to form a habit and 3 months to form a lifestyle. We offer clients psychiatric help in a bid to help them pick themselves up so as to rehabilitate them back into society and reintegrate them with their families. Rehab cannot work properly without the in-patient treatment. This is because of triggers – this could be parents, dealers anything that either excites or upsets an addicted person is a trigger so in-patient option of rehabilitation is meant to isolate patients away from their triggers while they get the help they require. “

Gaobakwe further went on to say he is currently dealing with three clients at the rehab. “Rehab is expensive, the cost of rehab is anywhere from 50 thousand to 100 thousand a month and right now I have only 3 clients I am dealing with who can afford it. We focus on awareness and education, prevention and healing just to say a few. A lot of people self-medicate because of lack of knowledge, it saddens me to see how a lot of young people experiment with drugs they don’t even know anything about, if they at least read up on the drugs they are dealing with then they would make better choices – to use them or not use them.” He says the major thing that hinders people from seeking help in the country is the elders. “

“Without elders we wouldn’t have this kind of problem, it is because parents/elders treat this drug topic like so much of a taboo which makes it even more difficult to deal with. Sure people deny they even have a drug problem and other hindrances but our elders are at the top of the list. Compare our drug problem to HIV/AIDS, we couldn’t talk about sex with our elders until we had people dying and being buried every weekend due to Aids same goes with drugs, parents don’t understand the urgency of it and how action needs to be taken hence why the problem is rapidly rising, “

Dr Sethunya Mosime, a senior sociology lecturer at the University Of Botswana says: “Addiction is a complicated brain disease. As it progresses, it changes the way an affected person thinks and makes decisions. A person in the throes of a full-blown addiction can’t isn’t in the right state of mind. No matter what else happens, the addiction always comes first. Addicts spend excessive amounts of time obtaining, abusing and recovering from their substance of choice.”

More than a third of people with substance use disorders think they don’t have a problem or they can quit on their own. In many cases, they have no motivation for quitting.

They might not realize the damage their behaviour has on their relationships, their work or other aspects of their lives. The brain has likely developed a physical and psychological attachment or dependence to the substance, and addicts are not often keen to break this bond.

Stigma is another huge hindrance to finding help for addicts, almost one-fifth of people who don’t seek treatment say they fear what others would think if they went to rehab. People with substance use disorders fear the judgment of society, friends and loved ones because addiction has become stigmatized.

But opinions are changing. Despite their worst fears, most family and friends of people with substance use disorders would prefer their loved one get better and not suffer in silence.

Unfortunately, the demand for treatment is growing faster than the rehab industry. Treatment is expensive, and most people think they can’t afford to get help. Substance abuse treatment is not generally free, and it is often perceived as cost-prohibitive.

Even though drug or alcohol treatment may be expensive, it may actually save one money over the course of time. Addiction is a financial burden in itself, costing addicts’ money to continue.

Addiction may cost you up to seven times more than the cost of a successful treatment program in the long run. Fear – It takes a lot of determination, motivation and courage to enter treatment. Many addicts are deterred by fear. They are afraid of the entire detoxification and withdrawal process, whether out of ignorance, past attempts on their own, or perceived dangers. They may be apprehensive about what the treatment program entails and not feel able to handle it. Can’t give up high – For many addicts, the biggest reason they don’t go for treatment is that they can’t give up the high.

They’re so wrapped up in how good they feel, so addicted to the high, that they can’t envision living without it. Despite harm to physical and mental health, and serious consequences to family, relationships and career, addicts cling to what’s known: the comfort of their addiction.

Treatment won’t help – Some addicts feel they are beyond help. No treatment can possibly make a difference in their lives after years of being addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. Those with co-occurring mental health issues can feel particularly hopeless.

Nobody cares – After burning their bridges behind them, alienating family and friends during years of addiction, some addicts feel that there’s no one left that cares whether they live or die. Since they have no one close, no one to support their efforts to get better, why bother? Lack of family or other support is a big issue not only in refusal to see a need for treatment but also among those who, after they do receive treatment, falter during recovery.

More than three-quarters of people with substance use disorders posses jobs. Treatment and recovery take time and they often worry about losing their jobs while in treatment. Indeed, most inpatient facilities insist patients focus completely on treatment during rehab, but outpatient treatment can be effective and allow individuals in recovery to keep their jobs. The more time and dedication a person devotes to getting better, the less likely a relapse. But most people battling addiction don’t want to take a 90-day break from their lives to attend rehab.

Addiction is considered a disease. Although addicts are often hesitant to seek treatment due to negative connotations or perceptions they feel may potentially arise from admitting to a substance abuse disorder, it is important to realize that all diseases require treatment in order for recovery to take place.


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