Drug Rehab 2022 Round 1 – Helping Those With Substance Abuse Disorder

Name: Jennifer Baricevic

Helping Those With Substance Abuse Disorder

I believe that as a nation we are dealing with an addiction crisis due to societal pressures that lead us to ignore self-care. Self-care can mean many things. Waking up early and performing tasks related to basic hygiene, going to bed early, and resting when needed. Another form of self-care that is explored less often, is setting boundaries at work. Setting boundaries with a boss and coworkers is important for our well-being. In work situations, I have had to learn how to say no and how to stand up for myself. I work as a teacher’s aide currently. At my previous job at a different school, I never said no, and sometimes worked through breaks. At my current job, I will never do that again, and put myself first. So many people go straight to bars after work, or have a drink at home, or go out for a smoke. Substance abuse and addiction has been normalized in society because of stress from work or college, but it is not a way to heal from trauma or learn how to set boundaries with people. Setting boundaries is a long-term solution to healing the trauma that causes people to abuse substances.

The consequences of this addiction for the individual are extremely dangerous and detrimental to their well-being. So many people pass away from drug-related illnesses due to addiction. Alcohol poisoning occurs due to addiction. Addiction can kill an individual. Addiction can cause someone to behave in ways that they never would. Someone struggling with addiction may stay in bed all day. Ignore their work tasks or quit their job and stop working altogether. They may neglect their relationships with family and friends. They may hurt themselves and engage in self-harm. They may develop an eating disorder, whether it is eating too much or too little. Individuals suffering from addiction are slowly killing themselves, in one way or another.

The consequences for society when it comes to addiction is having many homeless people on the street who lost jobs due to drug addiction. As a result, these individuals have no financial stability. They feel that they have nothing else to lose. Due to this, they go outside without a care in the world, doing outrageous things while under the influence. They do not understand what they are doing, but those who are not under the influence, definitely understand what is going on. They put the rest of us in danger because when I have seen people under the influence in public, they have yelled at and attacked people. While I do not believe this is right, I lead with empathy and understanding for both people under the influence as well as victims. Both are victims in their own way. The person struggling with addiction was systematically failed by a society that ignores mental health issues that lead to addiction. The person yelled at or attacked is the victim of someone who has been hurt by society and does not realize how they are taking it out on strangers.

We can remedy the crisis on the individual and societal level by helping people in need as much as possible. Instead of being a bystander when we see people suffering from addiction acting out in public, we should help in any way we can. If you do not want to give them money as you fear they may purchase drugs or alcohol, be generous enough to buy them a meal. If you are skeptical of sharing your wealth with an individual, lend them your ear. Have a conversation with them. Kindly pick their brain to help you understand them and I guarantee you will not regret it. Hopefully, by the end of the conversation, you will feel generous enough to help them out financially or donate clothes or food to them. Donate food that does not have to be refrigerated and give them some bottles of water. They do not always want money; they just want compassion and to feel that someone cares about them. This is why I will open up a substance abuse clinic when I receive a master’s degree in Social Work and receive my Clinician’s License. So that I may be my own boss and hire a team to teach them how to lead with compassion when working with patients.