News, books, and videos:

Substance use problems and addiction

 

If we want to give our youth a good and long life, we can start by making sure that none of them become lonely and excluded from society.

 Image: Dreamstime (with licence)


 

This is what psychologist Kari Lossius writes in a post on BT.no.

She describes measures that can to a greater extent take care of people who have already developed serious substance abuse problems, and calls for an effort that can prevent young people from developing these difficulties.

She mentions in the post six areas which in her opinion constitute special drug policy challenges today.

 

1. Need for significant efforts in nursing and care

Kari Lossius refers to the annual report from the EMCDDA, which points out that heroin is still the most widespread illegal drug among drug addicts in Europe. The trend of recent years is that the popularity of the drug is declining, and the age of users is increasing.

A challenge that Lossius highlights in this context is that there will be a great need for municipal nursing and care services within intoxicants and elderly care in the years to come.

 

2. Focus on treatment rather than punishment

The next challenge is described as follows:

Today's market is more complex than before and it offers several types of drugs. The amount of synthetic drugs is increasing in parallel with a greater supply of drugs such as opiates and benzodiazepines.

There are many cynical players in this market. Kari Lossius points out:

In the years to come, we should make even greater arrangements to ensure that people with an illegal drug addiction do not receive punishment.

 

3. High availability of new synthetic drugs

The next challenge is related to the new production of new drugs - synthetic drugs - which at the same time provides increased availability. Lossius writes:

We do not need a "Nygårdspark" to get drugs. We can sit at home in the easy chair, order the desired drug online, and wait for it to dump into our mailbox in small colorful bags that for confusion look like flower seeds or candy.

 

4. We "lag behind" in the knowledge of the latest drugs

Kari Lossius further points out that the emergence of the illegal synthetic drugs creates further challenges. True enough, one knows a little about which chemicals are included in these new substances; but at the same time, neither users nor the auxiliary device know much about how they actually work. Lossius asks:

For example, how should we ensure factual information to young people about harmful effects when we, the adults, do not have sufficient knowledge of what we are going to talk about?

And how should we behave when young people online know more about the substance they put in than what we "experts" do?

 

5. Measures that ensure life and health - among serious drug addicts

Kari Lossius points out that Norway is high on a European scale in relation to mortality among serious drug addicts. There is therefore a need for measures that ensure life and health among people with severe substance abuse problems. She writes:

For many years, user groups and professionals have pointed out the need for increased investment in housing, work, treatment and aftercare. Just get started.

 

6. Focus on prevention!

The sixth challenge is about thinking ahead, according to Kari Lossius. She writes:

What does it take for young people to live their lives without developing some form of serious addiction? And how do we help those who are already struggling with an addiction.

The point is that there is a need for preventive efforts - and such an effort does not necessarily have to be directly related to drugs and intoxicants. Fighting loneliness and exclusion is strongly emphasized in the post:

Common to good initiatives is that they focus on inclusion and that we all have a basic need to participate in a community.

  

Source

Cite this article

 

Feel free to use information from this article on your website, but remember to add a link.

 

Written by

ove heradstveit

Ove Heradstveit

Psychologist, specialist in clinical community psychology. PhD.
 Facebook -  Twitter -  Scholar
- Helpseeker.net 

Read more about substance use