From: BUJUMBURA, BURUNDI
School: Mount Kenya University
Never Give up to fight against Addiction
NEVER GIVE UP TO FIGHT AGAINST ADDICTION
Addiction constitutes a health burden to the nation and to the worldwide. According to WHO a 3 million of people are dying due to harmful use of alcohol representing 1 over 20 deaths (WHO,2018). Those deaths are mostly due to injuries, violence for themselves and for the society and we can’t neglect that addiction expose to not few disease (Non communicable disease such as Cardiovascular disease and mental illness and other health conditions.)
Moreover, I Burundi my country, according to WHO global status report on alcohol 2016 that Burundian is among the 30 countries with highest level of alcohol consumption in the worldwide and the 4th country in sub-Saharan.
Most of the addicted people are the youth and the majority of them explain that the causes are unemployment, stress, others think addiction increases performance or and for some it constitutes a refugee to their problems to overcome their hunger and weariness for the children in the street.
For example, Burundi Ministry of Health shows that from 2015 they are high increase of patients with mental disease and their clients are youth and alcohol users caused by socio political disturbance of the country. The same as in Burundian refugee where some young men had been gun shouted during drugs” traffic.
However, a nation has the obligation to reduce this burden because it leads to premature population deaths and different disability and all again to attain economic growth you need a strong workforce with tough people responsible for themselves and may lead the society. In conclusion, to sustain and maintain health of the population the nation need to deal with the drugs addiction to reduce death and to achieve to its country development.
Surprisingly, the worldwide is facing another kind of addiction: Screens which altering the social and psychological development of children.
Addiction redistributes different problems to the users, their families and the society in general. Consequences are big if the drug users didn’t abandon it quickly because it cut off their responsibilities, disturbs their life (for example dropping out schools or leaving jobs), being exposed to different disease (mental diseases, risk for brain cancer and other conditions like cardiovascular disease) within long use of drugs and causes family conflicts, separation. The addicted people can be also the origins of insecurity.
My family have been victimized of the addiction because most members were addicted and some are still addicted. Surely, first it affects them because they were unable to finish their studies and with orphan conditions we were living, they are discriminated socially with relatives. For example, due to much harm they cause to our family, there is no anyone to support them financially sometimes they are even unable to pay for their health treatment. First because they are isolated and don’t want to communicate or they aren’t able to take care of themselves like to feed, to wash and wearing themselves in normal ways. Finally, it is like they are now mentally ill as some of the society judge them but all has their origins in drugs addiction mostly alcohol and marijuana.
The last but not the least is that we had been victimized in that ways, they were stealing money, home materials, disturbance in our family every day. The worst one was the legacy embezzlement (though they achieve 18 age they have the rights to ask for their parts in the parent’s legacy or sometimes making them like they are leaving the addiction but finally return in their bad behavior until to lose all patrimonies). To mean, we can’t account for the loss in the family we had have and still facing. To the society, though they are losing the workforce it may constitute a danger, as experienced “one of those members were the one if may say to promote or to bring this bad habit among other young student sharing the same college” as said by neighborhood in village. I still trying to encourage our addicts ‘members so that they could quitting and I make efforts to convince my family in order to help them, not to discriminate and let them alone isolated.
Through my family experienced above, we can understand the consequence of drugs addiction to the society.
An addicted person needs support or any remedy though it is difficult to support them because they don’t recognize that they are addicted or don’t want to abandon.
However, it need multidisciplinary treatment, Addiction can expose the addicts to health disease, they will need to be treated through medical, psychiatric and psychologic therapy and social integration.
Although, medical treatment is needed but they are other important factors which could pull out them from addiction such as:
-Giving them occupation/employment or stimulating them to take initiatives through education because most of them are using drugs like a means to overcome different problems related to social and poverty issues. So a financial support associated with health and professional education could be better.
-others may need environmental change to reduce contact with their precedent friends because it helps them to quit. Environment change is the important key to avoid relapse since their friends will not be around.
-In some developing country like in my country Burundi, the addicted and the society don’t know or admit that there is treatment for people with addiction Moreover the addicts don t appreciate to be treated or fear the neuropsychiatric centers because they are confused with mentally diseased people. Reason why specialized centers for addiction are needed in our countries.
-Our society also need information on how to treat addicted people not to discriminate them…, they deserve information about the existence of the treatment so they may know how they my serve the addicted one, not to blame them, discriminate and stigmatizing them that’s why community sensibilisation is needed.
Above all those treatment, we prefer to prevent more than to cure, this may engage different institutions at different levels:
-Global level: United Nations with its organisms (WHO, UNICEF, UNESCO…), International organizations and NGO must consider addiction as a burden for humanity by supporting local institution that are fighting against addiction
-Government with its organs (MINISTRY OF HEALTH, MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, MINISITRY OF COMMERCIAL AND MINISTRY OF YOUTH) Must reinforce policies abiding the commercial use of drugs among young people and any related laws protecting the drug’s use to reduce health and social harm caused by the addiction mostly in youth.
-insuring health care educations in health facilities,
– creation of groups of educations in each schools from primary till to high schools to teach them about addiction prevention at low age and how to face different challenges of life not to be taken by drugs ….
Personally I feel this passion in preventing the addiction through creation of association and youth groups, by changing the mindset of my society which not forbid taking alcohol to teenagers and consequently attain adult age at full addiction. My country is classified to be among the highest consumption of alcohol. Again as a clinical officer and public health officer, I feel impassioned to contribute to the humanity in resolving the problem of addiction.