Frequently asked questions.

Frequently asked questions on Sankalp

It is a maladaptive pattern of use of mood altering substances (drugs / alcohol) leading to clinically significant impairment or distress as manifested by
  • Tolerance i.e
  • Need for increased amount of the substance to achieve the intoxification
  • Reduced effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance Withdrawal symptoms when the substance of use is withdrawn.
Some of the early warning signs of drug addiction are:
  • Loss of appetite / loss of weight
  • Personal neglect in the form of unkempt hair, uncut nails, dirty clothes, decreased frequency of bathing, poor dental hygiene.
  • Frequent mood fluctuations ranging from grandiosity to depression
  • Monetary and emotional demands increase
  • Drooping eyelids or mouth partially open
  • Hollowed eyes and dark circles under eyes.
  • Comes home late and at odd hours
  • A new set of friends may call or frequent the residence of the person Compulsive lying
  • Disappearance of articles and personal belongings Loose tobacco – unburnt - in ashtray
  • Needle marks or abscesses on forearms, burnt tips of thumb, forefinger and middle finger (commonly seen in chasers). Direct evidence in the form of a pudi, a vial, stained coin, candle, foil may also be found.

When an alcoholic or an addict begins to use, the symptom of craving kicks in, and the brain demands more alcohol or drugs. Even when they stop using, alcoholics and addicts have the symptom of poor insight/denial which tells them that they can the symptom of craving, the symptom of poor insight / denial, and the symptom of euphoric recall are basic elements of the disease of addiction, which is a treatable disease.

Studies on relapse have consistently shown that relapse is a process, whose final step is drinking or drug use. Many things happen before a person picks up the drink or drug. The relapse process is inevitable; it is a basic symptom of the disease of addiction. However, the process can be arrested before patients get to that first drink or drug, and reversed. Arresting and reversing the relapse process is a lifelong aspect of recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction.

This is a common fear, and it is based on some truth. The fact is, that during active alcoholism and drug addiction, staying "dry" (abstinent from alcohol and drugs but without a program to manage the rest of the illness) can be quite miserable. Without an active recovery program, the person will simply be an alcoholic with sick behaviors, painful problems and no way to manage the feelings. This will clearly not be enjoyable.
However, the practical experience of recovering alcoholics and addicts is that their lives have become more enjoyable, not less. The feeling that the alcoholic needs alcohol to be happy is a symptom of the disease of alcoholism and it will respond to treatment/recovery.

Addiction is a lifelong, chronic progressive illness. Experience shows it to be a stable diagnosis (i.e., even after a period of time of sobriety, return to drinking will result in rapid deterioration to worse levels than previously). One often quoted aspect of alcoholism is that it is "cunning, baffling and powerful." Often the desire to "safely" use addictive drugs is a symptom of the disease, and addicts and alcoholics may not know it. In this case, the only safe course of action is to address the relapse trigger, rather than take the drug. Alcoholism and drug addiction are not curable illnesses. But they can be arrested and then recovery is possible.

Remember that not wanting treatment is a typical symptom of the disease of addiction. It is a treatable symptom. All patients with the disease of addiction go through periods where they don't want help. Some people stay there and never want help; some people do have moments of great pain where they are ready to accept help on their own. Often, an intervention can be instrumental in motivating the individual to seek help. Drug addiction is a chronic, progressive, and ultimately fatal (if not treated) disease. An intervention can help the person get treatment even when he / she is suffering from the core symptom of denial. Meanwhile you can start your healing process by joining by Al-Anon or connecting with people affected by the disease of addiction.

  • Addicts are bad, misbehaved, lazy or useless people
  • Addicts should not be treated unless they are violent or fall in gutters and create problems in social setting
  • People who do not abuse/drink continuously, that is throughout the day, don't have a problem
  • People who are into substance abuse can be left alone if they earn well and work well
  • Alcohol, ganja are used in festivals, while cough syrups etc. are medicines, therefore they can be consumed without any harm
  • Alcohol improves appetite and sexual libido
  • Smoking filtered cigarette and drinking foreign liquor is fashionable and an occupational etiquette
  • A new set of friends may call or frequent the residence of the person Compulsive lying

A person is on the recovery path when he abstains from or stops the use of addictive substance completely, examines and improves self-thinking, feeling and behavior patterns; that is he tries to make reasonable changes in his lifestyle. The recovered addict also starts rehabilitating himself in family, job, education and career. He also takes efforts in learning ways to cope with free time, money and relationships, that is channeling energies into positive ways.

It is a process in which the patient is administered drugs, diet and a change of atmosphere to break the routine of addiction. Required medical and counseling support is also provided as withdrawal symptoms (commonly called "turkey") like disorientation, sleeplessness, and restlessness often occur during detoxification.

A rehabilitation center helps addicts in the recovery process. The centers usually have an outlined residential program. Use of discipline, creative & constructive routines and psychological treatment methods are the salient features of the centers. The addicts are helped to analyze themselves, confront defensive behavior and learn coping patterns. The duration of the patient's stay may vary from 34 days to 6 months.

Person comes back educated about his illness, believes that he can remain without addictive substance, and continues with his work. He sees other addicts in worse conditions and remains watchful of his own deterioration if he goes in to relapse. He is also aware of the disadvantages of substance abuse, and that if he does not take proper precautions there are chances of relapse.

Role of family members/caregivers in helping the addict is very crucial.
  • They need to accept that the addict is ill, and should accompany him for treatment like any other patient
  • They need to play a remedial role as prescribed by the counselor
  • Changing their thinking, feeling and behavior patterns is necessary
  • It is important to play a vigilant role in case the patient slips back to addiction
  • The family should try and lead a normal life within the circumstances

Sobriety is not merely abstinence from the substance but a qualitative change in attitude regarding self, others and the world. It also includes a sense of self-development and effort towards active reinstatement of self in the social mainstream.

Yes, and he can even progress and help other addicts during their treatment and recovery. He can restart his education, career plans, family reunification etc. He should however always completely abstain from all addictive, dependency-producing substances as there is a danger of relapse of some abuse or shift to a new abuse.

Addiction results in diminishing capacity to work and/or have a productive life. Based on our experience following responses are observed towards productive work during addiction:
  • Poor concentration or attention
  • Fidgeting, pacing or hyperactivity
  • Loss of initiative, interest and motivation
  • Lack of spontaneity and slowed reactions
  • Procrastination and avoiding responsibilities
  • Rationalizations, justifications and blaming others at the work place
  • Poor memory and learning ability
  • Frequent errors in decisions and work
  • Overly dependent behavior
  • Disorientation

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