Addiction raises serious problems in individuals because they become dependent on their addiction and suffer from consistent physiological and psychological changes. In such a situation, the treatment of patients is essential. In this regard, the elaboration of effective methods of the prevention of behavioural changes caused by addiction is possible through understanding its major causes and changes that occur to addicts.
The problem of addiction begins at the pre-contemplation stage, when individuals are unaware of possible risks and threats provoked by addiction. However, in the course of time, people consuming drugs grow more and more addicted to drugs and their addiction becomes irresistible. As a result, they just cannot give up consuming drugs. On the other hand, addiction refers to the psychological sphere mainly, whereas it is physical addiction only partially. What is meant here is the fact that individuals start consuming drugs to escape from reality and to feel the euphoria after injection or other way of drug consumption. Gradually, their addiction grows stronger and an addict passes from pre-contemplation stage to the contemplation, stage, when the addict is conscious of negative effects of drug consumption but cannot give up taking drugs.
In fact, the major causes and motivations of drug addiction discussed above can provoke and stimulate the development of drug addiction, but, in actuality, the development of drug addiction is much more complicated process and takes certain time. In this respect, it should be said that it is consistently easier to solve the problem of drug addiction at the early stages of its development.
At the pre-contemplation stage drug addicts suffer from the lack of motivation to give up taking drugs. In such a situation, health care professionals should understand personal circumstances that push individuals to drug consumption and finding out possible ways to change the attitude of drug addicts to their lifestyle. At the same time, at the pre-contemplation stage, drug addicts may be just unaware of possible risks and threats associated with drug consumption. What is meant here is the fact that drug addicts may believe that they can give up taking drugs any time they like, whereas, in actuality, the cannot change their lifestyle without the assistance of health care professionals (Ling, 2006). In this regard, health care professionals should inform drug addicts concerning the possible negative effects of drug addiction on their health and life. In fact, health care professionals should inform drug addicts on effects of drugs on their health and help them to give up taking drugs. In this regard, religion can be very helpful because it contributes to the re-evaluation of the lifestyle of drug addicts.
Health care professionals should make drug addicts aware of their problem and risks and threats associated with addiction. In such a way, health care professionals should provide patients with detailed information on addiction and the mechanism of its development. In addition, they should study the lifestyle of patients and help them to start changing it. The main point health care professionals have to achieve at the pre-contemplation stage is awakening of patients’ awareness of risks and threats associated with addiction and make them thinking of changing their lifestyle.
At the contemplation stage drug addicts become aware of risks and threats associated with drug consumption. They may be even willing to change their lifestyle but they cannot always do it on their own. Instead, they need the assistance of health care professionals. At this point, the information alone is not enough to the change of the behaviour of patients with drug addiction (Urschel, 2007). In fact, drug addicts need the assistance of health care professionals. To put it more precisely, health care professionals should focus on the motivation of drug addicts to give up taking drugs. In such a way, they can help them to find new goals and new values, which will replace the addiction by other values and goals in the life of drug addicts. This is the contemplation stage, when drug addicts should focus on the change of their lifestyle and behaviour. In this regard, counselling may be very helpful because health care professionals can use counselling to get insight into the problems of drug addicts and motivate them to change their attitude to life and to change their attitude to drugs. In such a way, health care professionals should help addicts to cope with their problems and to introduce effective strategies that can motivate drug addicts to refuse from drug consumption.
In this respect, it should be said that the change of the lifestyle is an essential condition of the solution of the problem of drug addiction because this problem affects dramatically the behaviour of people. To put it more precisely, at the early stages of the consumption of drugs, the behaviour of an individual starts to change (Preti, 2007). Basically, the change occurs under the impact of drugs that stimulates self-assurance of an individual and makes his/her behaviour more aggressive and challenging. In fact, an individual can hardly control his/her actions, especially in the state of intoxication. Gradually, the behaviour of an individual becomes more and more unpredictable.
The prevention of drug addiction should start at the pre-contemplation stage because it is more effective at the early stages of the development of addiction. Today, the prevention and treatment of drug addiction includes different approaches (Zahavi, 2008). First, if an individual has already become addicted to drugs he or she may need the medication to get rid of the physical addiction to drugs. However, the prevention and treatment of addiction should start with the psychological aid being provided to the individual, who consumes drugs. In this regard, the simple change of the environment can help an individual to give up taking drugs. For instance, an individual can move to a different community. In addition, professional psychologists can help addicts to give up taking drugs, when they change the priorities of addicts and help them to define goals worth living for.
Health care professionals should help patients to overcome their addiction. In the most severe cases, health care professionals can use medication to treat drug addicts and to replace drugs. The latter will facilitate the recovery of patients. At the same time, drug addicts have to be motivated to change their lifestyle by health care professionals. In this regard, counselling services should be delivered to patients.
Thus, addicts need the professional assistance because of physiological and psychological changes that occur to them. In this regard, health care professionals should involve psychologists to develop effective treatment strategies to help drug addicts to cope with their problems. Health care professionals should start their work at the pre-contemplation stage, although the resistance of drug addicts is high at this stage because they are unaware of actual risks and threats. However, the assistance of health care professionals at the contemplation stage is essential because drug addicts become aware of risks and threats they are exposed to because of their addiction. In this regard, the counselling and motivation are crucial for the assistance of health care professionals.
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