REHABILITATION FOR ICE ADDICTION
THE DRUG ICE
Recently, drug addiction has advanced from the common drugs that were classified as prohibited drugs (marijuana, heroin, cocaine) to more sophisticated forms like the ice. This is a new development in the cases of abused substances. Ice is a form of crystal methamphetamine. It is derived from amphetamine, formerly used for the treatment of depression and as an appetite suppressant. The rise in the global use of the drug and its societal effects on nations, families of users and the persons has become a global challenge. While measures are put in place globally and according to the laws on dangerous and prohibited drugs by different countries, drug addicts still manage by hook or by crook to get access to the banned drug. Ice comes in three basic forms as a powder which is also known as ‘speed,’ and paste, also known as ‘base’ and as crystalline form popularly known as ‘ice.’
COMBATING THE MENACE
It is noteworthy to know that individual nations have taken drastic measures to combat this menace. Different policies have been drafted at national levels on the punishment to appropriate for those violating the laws on banned substances. In the drive to combating the use of this substance, it is pertinent that the various law enforcement agencies assigned to this assignment, and the Ministry of Health or the government body that is in charge of people cut with substance abuse know that the fight is not only on prevention of the use of the drug, but measures or facilities should also be put in place for treatment and rehabilitation.
There should also be an orientation on the dangers posed by the use such banned substances from the grassroots level to the national level. This awareness campaign can also be at the academic level, starting from the junior classes to college level. Religious bodies can also join the fight against this very dangerous drug.
The airports, waterways, and borders need to be monitored by the drug enforcement agency so that these routes will not be means by which the drug will be moved in out of the state.
METHOD OF USAGE
The drug which comes in three different variables also has different methods of administration or intake. The most common of the three forms is the ice form or the crystal. Individual addicts have their preference and the one that drives them high faster. The effect of the drug comes from the rapid response of the brain as it releases dopamine when the drug is used.
Dopamine is a chemical compound which occurs in the brain. It spurs adrenaline secretion and the resultant effect of hyperactivity and high feeling of euphoria. Ice is either taking by smoking, by swallowing, by injection, as a suppository or by swallowing. It all depends on the form, and the users preferred method; however, they all produce the same effect.
The source of the drug is dependent on which country. Some countries are totally dependent on importation while some produce locally. Others produce and also import to augment the local production.
There is no form of the adverse effect of the use of ice that is not fatal. The only difference is the speed of the fatality. Ice like most drugs have long term and short term side effects. It is noteworthy to know that ice is harmful at every level of consumption, and fatal when taken in excess. Note, the excess is measured at every user’s range of tolerance or limit. However, after a dose of ice, it can take up to one week to return to a state of “semi” normalcy.
Semi normalcy is used in the sense that the individual can never be normal again during the period of drug addiction. The drug addict has carved a new state of normalcy for himself which is not medically certified as a normal state of human health and behavioral pattern.
For every drug, either prescribed or over the counter drug, there is always fatal or near fatal effects when they are taken above prescribed or recommended dosage. Ice is not exempted. The adverse effects of taking an overdose of ice range from chest pain, to being fatal. Below is a list of identified adverse effects of an overdose of ice:
- Breathing problems: The most common or the least of effects is breathing disorder; gasping and irregular inhalation and nearly breath seizure.
- Migraine: The excessive release of dopamine from the brain and adrenaline result in a migraine or severe paralyzing headache, especially the forehead.
- Chest pain: This is as a result of the thumping of the heart due to the forced heart beat.
- Thumping heart beat: This is a situation where the heart beats become emphasized, and the pumped blood tends to find other avenues to lick out thus coursing a thumping effect.
The most severe effects of ice overdose are:
- Epilepsy: This is associated with convulsions and maniacal outbursts.
- Coma: An overdose of ice can result in coma for a very long time and even eventual death of the abuser.
- Stroke: Stoke has also been recorded as an adverse effect of ice overdose The excessive pressure on the brain can result in the breakage or bursting of tissues in the brain making the brain to bleed.
There are so many other adverse effects of using ice that this study will not be able to exhaust. Some of these are:
- Frailty: Ice is derived from amphetamine, formerly used for the treatment of depression and as an appetite suppressant. The same effect is still derived from the drug. Thus the addict loses appetite and becomes extremely frail and underweight as a result of unhealthy feeding habit.
- Ice psychosis: This is one grave after effect of ice that has given health experts a great challenge. It is close to dementia or better still a form of dementia. It is accompanied by maniacal behavior, delusion, hallucinations, and incoherence. It can also result in eventual death if not properly managed.
- Turning Vegetable: The resultant injuries to the brain as a result of forcing the brain to hyperactivity can turn the individual to a vegetable and eventual death.
SOCIAL EFFECTS ON THE SOCIETY AND USERS
Some social challenges identified on the part of those addicted to the drug are:
- Finance: Users of ice always want to get the next hit after recovery from the last which takes several days. As a result, most of their finances are expended on the drug. The period of recovery will also result in absenting from work and an eventual sack. These developments have affected family’s welfare and even marriages.
- Crime: The high demand for the drug to quell the addictive desire inclines addicts to criminal intents. The drug also has a kind of influence on users to commit crime. It makes them feel that it is a way of life.
- Family Neglect: Users of ice have the tendency of abandoning their family’s welfare and upkeep as a result of trying to fund the next hit. Another effect on the family is battering. Ice users have been observed to being violent and unruly. These aggressive behaviors are meted to members of the family. Family and friends reputations are low when family members use drugs and misbehave in the society. Another challenge for a family is in the course of taking care of an ice dependant family member especially when the addict has become mentally unstable. It can be very depressing on family and friends
REHABILITATION AND TREATMENT PROCESS
Rehabilitation and treatment process for abusers starts with discipline. Though in most cases, the drug abusers’ have lost the will to give up on the drug, there is still a little power of willingness expected from addicts. Ice is a very strong drug, so it also requires stiff measures to treat it. Treatment and rehabilitation can be as requested by family members and friends or even by the government. It is very clear that drug users are looked down in by the society, but the clinicians in charge of treatment are advised not to look down or discriminate against drug abusers, knowing that showing love is also part of the healing process. There must not be gender, age or racial segregation; there must be equal attention for patients.
According to the nationalities, different nations have their set down models for treatment and rehabilitation. However, the health facilities and the homes should be made conducive for patients. This will enhance the recovery speed. Also, there should be follow-up and monitoring after treatment and discharge.
There is always that withdrawal phenomenon associated with the treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts. It is very important that the patient should be closely monitored because there is always the tendency to go back to the drugs. This is as a result of the hunger for the drug during the period. It takes discipline and a close monitoring of the patient to stop. The process of total recovery from the use of this drug is gradual. Some addict recovers faster than others. It can take from one week to over a month. The patient needs the help of the family and society for a speedy recovery. The issuing inconveniencing symptoms need to be overlooked and seen as temporary. Some of which can be thought provoking.
TENURE OF REHABILITATION
Tenure of rehabilitation and treatment depends on individuals and their response rate. But it has been discovered that it takes a longer period for those who have used the method of injection for a very long period.