Substance use disorders

Substance use disorders: You will read a short note written by an Iranian social worker regarding addiction in Iran.

Substance use disorders

If the addiction has been accepted as an illness, we must know that the patient is one of the illness main elements and it can’t be accepted that the addiction is a disease but the addict to be an ordinary people.

This behavior is like a person caught a cold and is expected without any coughing, speaking nasally, taking a cold pill, having patience, eating overheated greasy hamburger, beside these cases we expect that his illness will not be transferred.

Is the addict a patient or not?

When we see a weak person caught a cold, intend to help him but seeing an addicted on the street or in the family and workplace is a disgusting scene for us. In fact the disheveled appearance of an addict looks like cold symptoms, how is it we shake a hand with a person caught a cold but avoid an addict?!

The reasons probably propounded (especially the prevalence of industrial and hallucinogenic materials is high) may be threatening and physical dangers for other people from the addicts and this is normal.

For example you are in a situation attacked by a psychopath or evaluate his conditions concussive (at home or on the street), you refer to psychological Intervention Center or a psychiatrist soon. But if you are in a position attacked by an addict, where will you call up to be ensured this is a professional intervention center for this disease crisis? Isn’t your first choice police or compulsory camps? Which emergency and professional centers are there to do something for you in this situation with reasonable cost?

Propounding addiction as a psychological illness is simple, but our unconscious mind indicated acceptance of this case is too hard, and by looking around we understand in the minds of the majority of the population, the compulsory camps and methadone are addiction treatment and this indicates the other aspects of this disorder have been neglected, the aspects need the social and psychological treatment in addition to physical treatment.Substance use disorders

Substance use disorders
Substance use disorders

In other levels the thought of being patient of an addict confronts contradictions. For instance it is seen in some of mobile patrols of municipal social services which activate for involving and facilitating the entering of forlorn addicts into rehabilitation and treatment cycle, the addicts were beaten by patrols or taken to compulsory camps or insulted.

If the addicts are guilty, they have rights and committed a crime and these persons need to be rehabilitated and punished but taking the addicts to camps (more like a prison) without their consent indicates no right has been taken into account for them.

So if the executive, judicial and social thought is the addicts are guilty and must be punished, so the authorities punish them and it is almost unnecessary to treat, and if they are patients and need to be treated, it is unnecessary to punish!Substance use disorders

These matters indicate that the motto “an addict is a patient” really remained as a slogan in our country and we can’t observe increase of recovery rate, if this viewpoint isn’t reformed.

Sabereh Sadeqi
Social worker
Iranian Social Workers
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