COGNIZANCE UNFOLDING OF HARM REDUCTION

A relaxing and healthy environment is what one always yearn for. Safety first is always the call. On the other hand indulging into a risky behavior no matter how intense or severe it may be, still keeping them protected and secure is the desire and need of all those around. It is to reduce the risk human beings engage in.

Harm reduction is a kind of a care that one says “I’m not to provide you a cure, I only wish to protect your life and want you to be safe.” At times this very proclamation itself becomes the biggest transformational element in the life of a person who is unknowingly involving himself into the danger that might take his life away. This thought provoking statement sometimes actually give an insight to a true value of his own and human life.

 

Harm reduction should never be confused with the regular term of rescuing from the systematic conceited and immoral consequences of a person with SUD or his risky behaviors, it is about saving a life and creating an insight. It’s about providing the tools to protect themselves when indulging into a fatal act by either using unsterilized syringe or over dosing. 

Drug addiction and its paraphernalia has been a massive public health problem across the globe and the real issue lies in sheer absence of awareness. The real sense of providing fortification to the person suffering from SUD doesn’t exist in most part of the word especially in developing countries. The only motive is to make the person go cold turkey either through treatment or by his own will. Obviously any kind of harm reduction policy never endorses the abuse of drugs, it places the responsibility on the client to keep himself safe as much as possible. 

Most part of eastern world doesn’t even know what actually harm reduction is and what benefit can it bring to their zones. One most important fact that comes to the surface is such program would create a conducive enjoinment for all. Merely the act of unacceptance and disapproval towards the person abusing drugs brings about a mindset that creates unease in all dimensions. The stigmatized disease brings about a lot of accusations from the surrounding. No one wants to accept the person doing drugs and tries as much to remain in denial. On the contrary the client too submerges himself deep down into the dark abyss and doesn’t realize how badly he needs to be rescued.

It’s going to be a huge challenge to build up an edifice where harm reduction policy of facilitating a drug addict would be practiced. The origination should be from grass root level, where understanding and considering it as a disease or disorder not some moral or ethical flaw. Among many, one reason for the spread of this menace and its disastrous consequences is, no one would want to take the accountability factor in hand. One can’t expect the client to be cautious unless he is having the sense of understanding and belongingness. He is suffering from an illness that needs applicable guidance and support. They shouldn’t be punished or pushed away.

Though it’s a fact and has become kind of a universal truth that a person with substance use disorder should completely abstain from the drugs no matter be it done forcefully by significant others. But this persuasion won’t work any better if the consciousness of a client ain’t clear. Not just willingly, rather skillfully understanding that drugs can be fatal if not being cautious. Hence should be provided with a safe methodology and service centers that would collectively decrease the detrimental effects which are the result of multiple maladapted approaches of drug intake

As a practitioner in the field of drug treatment, we come across those families of clients who’ve actually hit the rock bottom and then would want to get their loved one treated. Sadly, in most cases the real fact is none ever tries to understand in the first place what, how, when, where and with whom have the clients interjected.

The biggest fear among the top few is the fear of rejection, so when a client “feels” rejected by the family, he’d move to a place where such illicit practices are frequent and becomes bio-psycho-social-spiritually helpless. These people could be saved at an early stage by addressing their issues and attending them and their need of drugs as at that point they’d be using less amount of their drug of choice as opposed to substantial immersion.

Submitted by
MS. LUBNA ALTAF HUSSAIN
Psychologist & Addiction Therapist
Nishan Rehab International (Pvt) Ltd.

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