Drug treatment treatments: when are they necessary?

When parents discover that their children are using drugs, initial reactions often include feelings of guilt, anger, shame or even not wanting to accept reality. In the middle of this gale of emotions, the parents find themselves alone and without support, something that contrasts with the situation of the children. They are most likely part of a group that talks openly about drugs and supports each other ... often against, precisely, the parents.

When is a drug dependence treatment necessary?

The drug treatment It is essential when drugs are integrated into the life of a person, in such a way that they organize it by subjecting other vital goals such as stable affective relationships, maintenance of a job, the level of studies or legal problems. However, it is not necessary to wait for situations of gravity to resort to a health care center since in them, consumers and their families, will find information and guidance.

Through the treatment of drug dependence it is intended that the person remain in abstinence to drugs, that is, that does not need to consume, addressing their dependence both physically and psychologically. There are also other treatments in which these goals are not raised, but an improvement in the quality of life, that is, a reduction in the damage produced by consumption, without pretending abstinence to the substance consumed.

What types of drug treatment exist?

According to the objectives set by the drug treatment, there are different programs:

- Drug Free Programs. They aim to abstain and change the lifestyle of the drug dependent. It consists of three phases:detoxification, where it's about physical dependence;rehabilitation, whose objective is to restructure the life of the individual recovering family, social relationships ... and the reintegration, which is aimed at facilitating their adaptation to the social environment.

- Harm Reduction Programs. The objective is to improve the quality of life of the consumer without pretending to be abstinent (methadone programs, social emergency centers, mobile devices ...).

Alternatives when there is no motivation for treatment

Sometimes, when the person does not recognize their dependence or does not show any interest in making a treatment, or change their consumption situation, the family's actions are decisive. It is necessary for the family to set clear response patterns to this problem, since it will depend, in many cases, on the final decision of the affected party. For this, it is very helpful to go to a Family Counseling Center, where professionals help to establish these guidelines, in order to achieve that motivation for treatment.

What can the family do?

The family plays an important role in the care process of a drug addict, in addition to making it easier for the consumer to make the decision to do something to remedy their situation, to motivate them for the treatment, can offer a parallel support to it, decisive in the rehabilitation. Parallel to the process that is carried out with those affected, there are programs in which guidance and action guidelines for family members are provided, enabling them to better deal with these situations.

How to approach the problem of drug use at home

What you should avoid:

- despair Not all those who begin in the consumption of drugs become habitual consumers.

- Blame him, or "throwing in his face" everything we've done for him.

- Become a persecutor, obsessed to follow his steps.

- The criticism continued and violent behavior.

- Use the punishment as the only resource to prevent it from continuing to consume.

- Harassing him continuously with questions, suspicions, accusations, etc. it will only get him away from us more and more.

- To ignore him not paying attention.

What should be sought:

- Discuss with our son analyzing the circumstances that led to the consumption.

- Favor the approach of our son towards us, behaving in such a way that he sees in us someone to turn to for help, and not someone to flee for fear of punishment.

- Show him affection for what he is, regardless of what he does.

- Reflect on what we can do for our son. Try to spend more time and pay more attention.

- Understand that we are facing a human being who has problems and not 'a problem'.

- Transmit to him that we believe in his capacity to stop the drugs.

- Always agree with our spouse regarding drug use. The message can not be ambivalent.

As soon as consumption is detected, whether sporadic or a dependency, we must act as soon as possible and not hide the problem. The first step is to request guidance and help. This first contact with professionals is essential to not feel alone and lost.

Ricardo Regidor
Advice: Trevor Grice, director of The Life Education TrustGuide for parents concerned about drugs. Commissioner for the Drug. Junta de Andalucía. Documents of the FAD.

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