Should the de-addict be rehabilitated in the society? Essay Example

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Should the de-addict be rehabilitated in the society?

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A ‘drug’ refers to any substance that which when taken into the body of a living organism has the capacity to either modify or even stop the normal body functions (World Health Organization, 2014). The body also defines ‘drug abuse’ as the self and deliberate administration of a drug for reasons that are non-medical at a frequency and quantities that end up inhibiting the individual’s ability to function productively hence resulting in physical, social and emotional harm. Further, Serling (2015) describes addiction as a complex disorder mostly characterized by repeated and compulsive use of drugs through as a consequence of alteration of the brain functioning. On the other hand, he defines de-addiction as the deliberate process of getting the victims of drug abuse to resume their normal lives. Treatment is the deliberate provision of either one or more organized interventions with a view to effectively managing health of a drug addict with a view to maximizing or improving social and personal performance (Lone & Mircha, 2013).

Though drug addiction is viewed as a treatable disease, it is slowly becoming a universal social problem taking up complex dimensions (World Health Organization, 2014). This is attributable to the many facets of an individual’s life that are affected as treatment becomes a rather complex undertaking. Berg & Anderson (2012) observe that, world over, the biggest problem is the existing mismatch between the de-addiction services and the few service centers at hand. Reasons given by the authors for the discrepancy include: limited monetary funds, few treatment centers and absence of trained personnel as well as poor bed-strength that cannot accommodate de-addiction patients. Moreover, the pair observes that effective treatment incorporates several components which are aimed at countering specific aspects of the particular illness and associated consequences.

Are we doing enough?

According to Basu et al. (2011), the bigger picture in treating drug addiction is to secure long term abstinence of the individual involved but even with this in mind, the ultimate objective is accomplished in phases. The group note that the most immediate goals while handling drug addicts is to reduce the rate of drug abuse, improve the ability of the particular patient to function normally in addition to minimizing social and medical implications. However, the authors caution that since drug addiction remains a chronic and recurrent illness, it calls for repeated treatment episodes to guarantee the realization of sustainable abstinence. In fact, it is this state of affairs that leaves many wondering whether the de-addiction process carried out from the various rehabilitation centers is effective.

A recent national survey shows that most of the de-addiction centers have already recorded significant successes in rehabilitating their patients (Bhatia et al., 2012). Nevertheless, the authors observe that much still remains gapping as there are no formidable mechanisms to follow up the activities of individual patients once they exit from these centers. It should be borne in mind that the rehabilitation programme is a continuous process that should not simply treat but also support the post-recovery life of the clients (Berg & Anderson, 2012). Indeed, the pair notes that the rising cases of relapses, slipping and dropouts should be interrogated keenly as part of the overall treatment policy. Accordingly, continued deviation from this, renders the de-addiction initiative itself null and void. Therefore, it would be recommended that family based support programs are implemented for the former addicts to ensure health relationships and by extension lifestyles for the rehabilitated cohorts.

The economic implications of drug abuse in any society cannot be overemphasized whether at the family or national level. It is estimated that for every dollar spent in rehabilitating a drug addict about US$ (4-10) is saved (World Health Organization, 2014). It, therefore, follows that all the world governments should pay profound thoughtfulness to this social menace. This should be done with a view to saving the future generations from the physical, social and psychological consequences that result from irrational drug dependency (Niraula et al., 2012).

According to the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (2014), there exists no single factor that can help predict the susceptibility of an individual to drug addiction since the status is subject to a person’s biology, stage or age of development and social environment. In the same vein, the agency notes that the more the risk factors exhibited by an individual the higher the tendency to slip into addictive substances. Such risks include but are not limited to low self-esteem, peer pressure, broken families and absence of role models. However, studies have shown that the society remains overly antagonistic to drug addicts who are seen as social outcasts with no entitlement to empathy (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2013). This view fails to take into consideration the negative social and monetary impacts that result from taking care of such people who further lack the capacity to make their positive contribution towards nation building.

Additionally, though aggressive behavior is widely seen as part of the fundamental human behavior, the modern-day behavior manifested by drug addicts is of grave concern not only to the psychiatrists but to the society at large (Tripathi et al., 2013). This has often resulted in further discrimination precipitates more violence from the patients. According to the authors, the available evidence indicates that there is close correlation between the level of violence and the extend of substance abuse disorder impelled by stimulant drugs like cocaine and amphetamine considered much lethal. In this case, ill-equipped society is expected to not only understand but be able to predict the likelihood of aggression from such patients. Unfortunately, in most cases, the society fails in this gallant role and interprets the addict’s conduct as a manifestation of arrogance. This raises a number of questions: Who is responsible for the wellbeing of the victims of drug abuse? Is the society doing enough to support the rehabilitation processes for its members who have fallen victims to substance abuse?

There is no doubt that through the use of community based drug rehabilitation centers much can still be realized in reforming the victims of drug abuse (Serling, 2015). To start with, a deliberate attempt by organizations to train as well as equip their respective staff with the necessary skills is one possible way in which clients can be assisted on their journey to full recovery. An initiative of this sort will consequently call for the input of dedicated organizational captains who understand the perils of drug abuse victims. Secondly, the thoughtful re-integration of former addicts into the workplace setups reminds the rehabilitation patients that they’re still valued human beings who deserve another chance to reclaim their lost past lives and make responsible citizens in the long run. On the contrary, most senior executives in a number of these organizations view the circumstance of such members of staff as self-inflicted (Basu et al., 2011). Subsequently, they tend to introduce tough disciplinary measures to the addicts making them predisposed to relapses. Again, this serves to frustrate the honorable task undertaken by the respective rehabilitation center in restoring the life of the victim.

Previously, a number of scholars have observed that the adoption of lifestyle enhancing factors like continuous enables the drug addicts experience positive moods even without having to use the drugs (Lone, & Mircha, 2013). The pair point out that exercises serve to activate the dopamine concentrations in the body just as drugs do. However, to remain faithful in such exercises the victim of drug abuse will definitely require family and by extension societal support. When the moral support lacks, the rehabilitated client easily loses self-esteem and in the process gets back to the former ways. This explains why the rehabilitation process remains a collective effort rather that an isolated case to be followed up by the select few.

It has been said that human life gets real meaning when there are specific goals to realize and especially when individual efforts are channeled to that particular cause (Berg & Anderson, 2012). In fact, the satisfaction process is considered key and more important than the point satisfaction. Arguably, after exiting the rehabilitation centers, the former patients need a different form of enjoyment and excitement to keep their attention from drugs. In some countries like India where family structures are still considered very strong, most addicts are allowed to undergo full recovery at their respective homes (Tripathi et al., 2013). In such cases, the family assumes the noble responsibility of overseeing the recovery of the victim. However, according to Serling (2015), the families undergo training on how best to motivate the addicted member while at the same time condemning his or her inappropriate conduct. Oftentimes, influential figures are also encouraged to be part of the rehabilitation and recovery process to minimize unwarranted friction with the addicts.


In sum there is no reservation that the de-addict should be given the noble chance to recover from within the immediate society. This is because, the sense of belonging that comes from interacting with family members, close friends and even former colleagues at work gives the addict the much needed assurance that life is still worth it. Support from these groups in the society provides a rare opportunity for the former addicts to resume their journey to a life of happiness and also nurture heath relationships that go a long way in bringing out their best as responsible citizens. However, a combination of love and toughness is key if the rehabilitation process is to translate into a success story.


Basu, D., Aggarwal, M., Pratim, P., Surendra K., Kulhara, P. & Vijoy, V., 2011, Changing Pattern of Substance Abuse in Patients Attending a De-addiction Centre in North India. Indian J Med Res 135, June 2012, pp 830-836

Berg, J. & Anderson, S., (2012). Drug Addiction Rehabilitation: A Burden on Society? University of Oslo, Norway

Bhatia, M, Kaur, J., & Garnawat, D., 2012, Rehabilitation for Substance Abuse Disorders. GTB Hospital, New Delhi Journal Vol. 16 No.2

Lone, G. & Mircha, S., 2013. Drug addiction and the awareness regarding its possible treatment and rehabilitation of young drug users in Kashmir. School of Social Work (SOSW), Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, India.

National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse, (2014). Models of Residential Rehabilitation for Drug and Alcohol Misusers. United Nations, New York

Niraula, S., Chhetry, D., Singh, G., Nagesh, S., Shyangwa, P., 2012, Role of Rehabilitation Centres in Reducing Drug Abuse Problem in a Town of Eastern Nepal. Kathmandu University Medical Journal, Vol. 4, No. 4, Issue 16, 448-454

Serling, R. (2015). Community Based Drug Rehabilitation. Open University Press, Buckingham

Tripathi1, H., Phookun, J., Yadav, S., & Srivastava, U., 2013,. Predictors of Aggressive Behaviors in Drug De-Addiction Centre. Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, Guwahati-781005, Delhi Psychiatry Journal Vol. 15 No.1

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, (2013). Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation: A Practical Planning and Implementation Guide. United Nations, New York

World Health Organization (2014). International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (5th ed.) University Press, Geneva