Every year, there are around 20, 000 new drug users in Germany; At the same time, 1331 people died as a result of narcotic drugs in 2009 (source: BKA). Anyone who has once resorted to a hard drug often no longer manages to get away from it. But even with legal drugs such as alcohol or nicotine, the numbers of addicts are appalling. Although their consumption does not make them dependent immediately, the path to addiction is faster than many suspect. Regardless of the type of drug: Drug addiction is a disease like many others and can therefore only be overcome with professional help.
Definition of drug addiction
As an addiction, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines a "condition of periodic or chronic intoxication caused by the repeated use of a natural or synthetic drug". This includes:
- the indomitable desire to take and obtain the means
- a tendency to dose increase
- mental and often physical dependence on the effect of the drug
- the harmfulness to the individual or society
- the loss of control over one's behavior
Drug addiction as a social phenomenon
The question of whether and why someone becomes addicted to drugs is difficult to answer. The drug problem is spreading worldwide through all sections of the population. Drugs include, for example, cannabis, amphetamines, cocaine, alcohol or ecstasy. Similarly, there are various reasons why people take drugs. Whether frustration, pain, peer pressure, boredom, because of depression or to increase performance - because each drug has a different effect, there are also the most diverse drug users. However, they all have one problem: they are more or less consciously dependent on a substance that causes serious damage to their body and psyche. To overcome this dependency, professional support is usually unavoidable.
Different forms of drug counseling
The first step in overcoming a drug addiction is self-knowledge. As long as an addict does not recognize his illness as such and decides to fight it, he can not overcome it. For no amount of therapy can replace the power of one's own will. For drug addicts and their relatives, there is now a wide range of support services. From ambulatory counseling centers and treatment sites to inpatient therapy in hospitals and clinics to self-help groups, each patient can be helped individually, depending on the severity of the addiction and the type of drug. Many church or non-profit organizations offer so-called "psychosocial counseling centers". If you would like to be advised anonymously on the telephone, you can also contact the telephone counseling service or the Federal addiction and drug hotline at 01805 - 31 30 31. The beginning of a drug treatment usually takes place in a counseling center. There, the addicts and their relatives can talk about their worries and problems and work with the counselor to create a suitable withdrawal program. In some cases, an outpatient treatment is sufficient, in other cases a hospital stay is inevitable. Assisted living in short-term or long-term facilities is also possible.
Drug counseling with abstinence therapy
The goal of drug treatment in any case is the total abstinence of drugs, the reintegration of the addict into society, the re-learning of everyday and social structures and an independent, self-determined life. To achieve this, most forms of addiction therapy rely on total abstinence. However, this is controversial in modern drug treatment - not only because of the physical pain caused by the withdrawal of the addicts, but also because of the high rate of relapse. Since the treatment of addicts is often poor after therapy, about 60 to 80 percent quickly fall back into old patterns of behavior, surround themselves with the same fake friends, have difficulty finding a home or work and therefore resort to drugs again.
Low threshold addiction counseling
Modern programs work low-threshold, that is, they do not force the therapist to complete abstinence. Instead, they use street workers, substitute treatment, medical support, free disposable syringes, and counseling to improve the lives of drug addicts, paving the way to a healthier, more confident life. In this way, not only the risk of infection with AIDS or hepatitis is reduced, but also improves the health and sanitary situation of addicts. Although the addicts need to find their way into a drug-free life themselves, the support they receive from counseling centers can be a crucial support.