Addiction in Afghanistan: No End in Sight

Alternative Treatment, International

Addiction-in-Afghanistan-No-End-in-SightIn 2012, Afghanistan produced ninety-five percent of the opium consumed worldwide. This unintended consequence of the US-led war there has numerous ramifications, including a flood of heroin available  on all continents, a huge source of funding for the Taliban, and a dire internal problem of addiction. In one province, a man named Abdurahim Mutar sold his sister to fund his habit. His wife medicated their children with opium to keep them quiet, and his mother and brother are also addicted.

Lack of information about opiate addiction, combined with availability of cheap drugs, is part of the reason for the ongoing epidemic. Abdurahim and his wife claim they were not aware of the dangers to their children when they force-fed them opium, saying, “It’s very common here.” He has been addicted for thirteen years, having started  when he joined the mujahideen.

It is estimated that Afghanistan has over a million addicts. Treatment options are severely limited, with approximately ten thousand addicts receiving treatment each year. Thirteen out of thirty-four provinces in the nation do not offer any kind of treatment at all. Compounding the issue is the fact of police corruption and a general laxity in enforcement.

Also problematic is the addiction rate in neighboring Iran, which has long been among the world’s highest but also recently has seen a rise in the use of crystal meth. Because Afghanistan has a high rate of unemployment, many Afghanis cross the border into Iran for work, where they are introduced to cheap and readily available opium. In some rural villages, drug use is as high as thirty percent, and the attendant problems—crime, health problems, and zero productivity—continue to erode the war-torn economy and social fabric.

The Taliban, a product of the Russian occupation of the 1980’s, originally opposed drug cultivation on the basis that the Koran forbade the use of any intoxicants. After 9/11 and the beginning of the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban took advantage of the weakness of the new government, corruption, and the fact that opium cultivation was profitable to farmers and tribal leaders, and reversed their stance on the morality of the drug market. The problem persists, intractably, with devastating consequences.

If you, or someone you care about, needs help for a drug or alcohol addiction,
contact us at 1-888-457-3518 US, 0-808-120-3633 UK or 1-800-990-523 AU.
We’re here to help you take that first important step.

Counterfeit Drugs a Danger in Scotland

Alternative Treatment, Education, United Kingdom

Counterfeit Drugs a Danger in ScotlandThe world of drugs—from an enforcement point of view as well as from a consumer’s—is complicated enough without the added wrinkle of fake drugs. Heroin and cocaine have always been adulterated; the profit motive that facilitates distribution guarantees that these drugs—in powder form—will be “stepped on” at every level between manufacture and consumption.

Fake ecstasy is now intruding on the Scots club scene, keeping authorities on their toes as they strive to keep up with the branding schemes that dealers come up with to persuade users that “this time it will be different” and that they will get the real deal. Ecstasy, rebranded (in the US) as Mollie after users finally soured on the possibility of acquiring a legitimate version of the product, is—or should  be—MDMA, a member of the amphetamine class of stimulants. In its pure version, it produces euphoria and a sense of intimacy with others (especially if they too are under its influence). It has been popular as a dance-club drug for several decades.

The fake ecstasy coming into Scotland is mainly manufactured in China, where criminal gangs have chemists in labs of varying levels of sophistication manufacture drugs—many of them legal—that they then blend in order to mimic the MDMA effect. One especially dangerous substitute is PMA, another drug in the amphetamine class.

There is some clinical indication that repeated use of even pure MDMA leads to increased rates of depression and anxiety. Chronic users may perform poorly in cognitive or memory tests. For chronic users, withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, concentration problems, and loss of appetite, as well as cravings for the drug.

There are no pharmaceutical treatments for ecstasy abuse, but treatment is available. As with any drug, the user has to come to a point, whether by self-realization or by intervention, at which he or she realizes that they can’t continue, can’t moderate, and can’t stop on their own. With this as a starting point, modern treatment methods can be successful.

Celebrity Recovery Coach David Charkham Visits DARA

Alternative Treatment, Articles, Education

David Charkham at DARA Rehab_1We were recently visited by David Charkham, as very well know therapist and recovery coach based in the UK.

He has been in practice since 1989 in both private and public health services. His Recovery Skills workshops, created in 1989 to support clients with substance misuse conditions, have been presented across the UK as well as internationally.

In his role as a recovery coach, he has accompanied many performers on their world and European tours. Most recently, he was the recovery coach to Ozzy Osborne on his Black Sabbath European Tour 2014.

David is also the guest lecturer at the Centre for Addiction Treatment Studies, University of Bath.

Please find his comments after visiting DARA below:
After my recent visit to DARA, having spent several days visiting both centres I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending either of these excellent programmes. Having visited and worked in many treatment programmes on several continents, I have gained a good insight in to the mechanics of successful treatment. DARA ticks all the boxes.

It is a big bonus having two treatment methodology’s for clients. For those not comfortable with the twelve-step method, there is an excellent alternative using the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy based approach.

After presenting several workshops and meeting clients, I was able to receive unbiased feedback and observe the treatment process close up.

The experienced staff that I witnessed interacting with clients were supportive, boundaried and compassionate in their approach.

David Charkham at DARA Rehab_2Managed by ex-senior NHS trained staff with multiple years of experience, the completion rates at both centres remain impressive.

With extremely favourable all-inclusive costs, excellent accommodation and catering, clients are able to start their recovery process in a peaceful, tropical setting.

Upon completion, clients are also invited to return five days every year for a renewal free of charge.”

Japan Hoping New Drug Can Help Alcoholics Quit Drinking

Alternative Treatment, Treatment

Japan explores potential of new drugMakers of a new drug that is being sold in Japan claim it can help alcoholics quit drinking. The drug is called Regtect, and Japan is the latest country to allow its sale.

Regtect is thought to improve the chemical balance in the brain, and reduce a person’s cravings for alcohol. Unlike other drugs that have come and go in the past, this one doesn’t cause unpleasant symptoms when a person drinks; it simply makes them care less about drinking.

No Such Thing as a Magic Pill

The drug is already being sold in dozens of other countries, and many people are hoping that this will finally be the miracle drug that can cure alcoholism once and for all. However, there is no such thing as a quick fix. Recovery from alcoholism cannot happen overnight, and anyone who falsely convinces themselves that sobriety can be an easy journey is setting themselves up for failure. Sobriety is possible, but it takes determination, hard work, and a complete change in lifestyle. It is not something a pill can bring about on its own.

Recovery through Rehab

There are medications that can help some people on their journey to sobriety. Maybe over time doctors will find that Regtect is beneficial to those in treatment for alcoholism. But those who are dependent on alcohol will need to detox in a safe facility, and then go through therapy and counseling to develop the skills necessary to create a sober life. If a person is not willing to put the work into getting sober or to use the tools provided in treatment to live a substance-free life, relapse will be likely.

After rehab has been completed, it is important that an individual stays connected to therapists and support groups, in order to maintain long term recovery. Recovery is not something that can be brought about by a simple pill.