Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Another reponse to an article about huge rise in methodone treatment.

Not always my words but def my voice!

People take drugs for many reasons: peer pressure, relief of stress, increased energy, to relax, to relieve pain, to escape reality, to feel more self-esteem, and for recreation. Millions of pounds may be spent on policing the drugs industry from the poppy fields of Pashtun farmers to argyle or dockhead Street, but I could still wander out of my front door right now and score within minutes.

There are a few things that you should know about drug treatment in the UK. If you go to see a doctor, a social worker or a probation officer, the person that you see will have received some training for the job.

If you go to a drugs agency, there worker that you see is unlikely to have been trained as a drugs worker. They may have trained in another discipline but the amount that they actually know about drugs or drug problems varies immensely.

This lack of knowledge will often permeate the whole of the agency. If the boss has very little drug-specific knowledge it is unlikely that he or she will insist on it in his staff.

As a consequence, Britain has drug services that are typified by their lack of professionalism. The unstated position that is implicit here is, 'they're only drug addicts, anybody can deal with their problems', when in fact, too many drugs workers are unable to identify the issues even when they are spelled out for them.

The expansion of drugs agencies over the last ten years or so has been fuelled by political pressures and the availability of money, rather than any proven success at addressing a particular problem. Much of what drug services do is about justifying their existence or building empires and securing salaries, rather than addressing problems effectively. That said, there are many good, committed workers out there who will do their best to help you, and even the ones who aren't can be useful if you learn how to work the system and play the game.

While the predominant position in Britain today is that treatment and prevention of drug abuse ought to take place within a medical framework, drug use is still punished under the law; and while it is argued that legal deterrence is necessary due to the dangers of drug use, more people die every year from tobacco and alcohol use which are not illegal.

The mainstream approach to substance use (prohibition), treatment (according to the disease model), and prevention (through education) is an utter disaster, yet it continues to flourish. This is because of two factors:

first, there is a lot of money to be made in this 'industry,' and second, there is a complex underlying psychopathology in society.

Society suffers from the failings within education (children are taught to work hard for external rewards; education does not make better jobs available), consumerism (the degradation of work; ownership is the ('British dream'), politics and morality ("we have a history of lawlessness in international matters;" "the leaders we elect are immoral and alienated from themselves" and the environment (a pervasive use of problem denial; the alliance of government regulatory bodies and industry), leaving it at the level of a poorly functioning, self-centered one- to three-year-old.

This pervasive self-serving attitude is one of the factors which, maintains the incredibly profitable "war against drugs," and the lucrative but ineffective mainstream substance abuse industry.

The approach to substance abuse has been superficial at best because it has avoided dealing adequately with the "underlying cultural pathology, oedipal and preoedipal" "if one wished to bring about sound, stable changes in the drug abuse situation, the basic pathology of our culture should be addressed" But this will not and cannot happen by means of the convention conventional approaches because mainstream substance abuse counsellors are not sufficiently educated and trained to work at any but the most superficial levels.

I doubt much progress would be made in the "war on drugs" as it was being fought in the pathological US/UK society of the early 90's and present that even if it were successful, "the current official 'enemy number one' would be succeeded and replaced by some other suitable 'enemy,' perhaps terrorism, nuclear war or other"
Probably the credit crunch lol "the banks" are the bad guys.

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