Wednesday, October 7, 2009

now or never

After reading the information introduce to me by this class I have to say I was overwhelmed, but in an informed manner. In the beginning I thought that the only way to stop someone from using or abusing drugs and/or alcohol was to simply stick them in a treatment facility, but now I know that there are certain steps that need to occur even before addressing someone who has a drug and/or alcohol problem. In many cases intervention is necessary, but how to go about introducing that intervention is critical, and not all intervention is welcomed with open arms. We don't want to force intervention unless the situation is life threatening, because if a substance abuser is not ready then the treatment is not going to have the effect intended. As mentioned in the article, behaviorally oriented treatment is one option where the patient takes primary responsibility for their change in behaviors. I would image that this gives the substance abuser a since of empowerment, and many clinicians think that this a more favorable prognosis for recovery.

Many treatment programs provide information to families, communities, and substance abusers. I would guess their primary goal would be to help families, communities, and substance abusers understand their situations. In many cases family members who have relatives or friends who become substance abusers do not know or understand that they are not alone when dealing with a family member or friend who has become a substance abuser. I know that in my community drugs and alcohol are as a part of everyday life, as waking up in the morning. In every corner of the city there is a liquor store and drugs are easily available. As mentioned in the article,"... about 5 million users of illicit drugs and 18 million people with alcohol use problems need treatment, but only one fourth of them receive it." these are staggering numbers; inwhich, many of the programs to help combat these problems are under budget.

I don't understand why something that seems to work does not have the support or funding it needs to help save our youth. Are we willing to let something drastic occur before we make the right decisions? Are we really going to allow cost to be the deciding factor for us to take control of our future? Another portion of the article that really catches my attention is that 1 in 20 high school seniors use marijuana daily, maybe this is what happened to the kid in Chicago who was beaten to death by a group of his peers. We have to ask ourselves, when does it matter? Do we wait until it hits home? And trust me it will happen if we don' t do something now. How is it that we can contribute millions of dollars to campaigns and wars, but when it comes to our youth, citizens, and country we feel that we are wasting money. I think that we are enabling our nation to become substance abusers, by allowing ourselves to think that there is a drug for every little ache and pain. I think that many companies are just out to get money at the expense of any and everyone, and we can't trust the government or city officials to speak up for us, because they too are in the pockets of these big industries whose sole purpose is to direct advertisements toward our youth.