Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Can Medical Care Save a Drug Addict?

David Kennedy, son of Robert Kennedy, died of drug addiction. He died of cocaine in his system as well as medically prescribed antidepressants and tranquilizers.

In David's case, the best medical care (besides his family's wealth) available couldn't save him from his addiction. Despite having been under many treatment programs, he failed to stay in one place and reform enough.

This is horrible. Tragic. Is medical treatment and brain drugs the cure for drug addiction? We all may ask.

In the Philippines nowadays, we see a "futile" drug war. My opinion is, both the government and the medical establishment make the same basic error.

Both have a wrong focus -- they focus on the drug rather than the addict's life fabric.

Drugs scare, yes. But one gets addicted to it not because of the drugs' chemical components. The addiction is a product of the addict's life circumstances and expectations.

In a front page of an international newspaper, drug rehab experts asserted that crack addiction can be treated successfully.

But, "the addict must be given a place in family and social structures where they may never have been before."

In my therapy sessions treating persons addicted to drugs, there are also the factors of values and goals. Addicts are often characterized by impulsivity, alienation, and mental disorder.

And many of the roots I found were mostly from ancient family and social system patterns. They predate the addict's adolescence and initiation to drug use.

This is where life-process psychotherapy diverges dramatically from mainstream medical model and drug rehab programs.

Instead of only focusing on surface issues, such as drug detox, life-process Psychotherapy gets to the deep-level inner roots and wounds of the addict. That's where permanent healing lies.