A Study on Rehabilitated Drug Addicts and Society Acceptance towards a Rehabilitated Life

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A Study on Rehabilitated Drug Addicts and Society Acceptance towards a Rehabilitated Life Norazleen Binti Mohamad Noor 1 Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia Ashwin
A Study on Rehabilitated Drug Addicts and Society Acceptance towards a Rehabilitated Life Norazleen Binti Mohamad Noor 1 Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia Ashwin Kumar 2 Sun Media Corporation Sdn. Bhd, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia DOI: /IJARBSS/v7-i2/2668 URL: ABSTRACT The January-December 2013 AADK (Agensi Anti Dadah Kebangsaan) report, one of the contributing factors towards relapse cases in drug addiction is lack of social support from the society when they re-enter the community. To date, studies investigating this aspect are still limited. The current study investigates the aspects of rehabilitated drug addicts and society support or backing perceived by former drug addicts to a rehabilitated life. In-depth interview will be conducted to examine the respondents. The interview will took almost 35 minutes each and open-ended questions will be asked for further investigates the reasons of the relapse. Interviews will also be conducted with society representatives, legal and lawful professions to further investigate issues on studies from a neutral point of view. Overall the result hopes to shows the important agents that can help drug addicts to return to a normal life. The important mechanisms of society support are emotional, practical assistance, socializing, financial assistance, advice or motivation and a caring guidance. Additionally, the post-rehabilitation program should emphasize in providing in a concrete support groups for the rehabilitated addicts. Keywords: Relapse, Rehabilitated Addicts, Social Support, Drug Addicts, Society Support. Introduction All over the world, drug abuse has become a huge problem and is among the most demanding health issue. There is no country or community that has been spared from this scourge. The intense increase in drug invention and trafficking in recent years has caused a growing numbers of drug users worldwide. Like other countries in the world, Malaysia is not exception in facing the challenge of overcoming the problem of drug addiction. Due to its 600 seriousness, the country has made the call to society to view drug as the nation s number one enemy and has implemented a multifaceted anti-drug strategies that includes law enforcement, preventive educations, treatment and rehabilitation. Drug usage, abuse and misuse among teenagers and youth have been a significant impact in our country as in it never decreases in trending. Substance abuse is a pattern of recurrent use that leads to damaging consequences. The consequences affected may include the failure of completing one s responsibilities as in professions such as students, worker, parent, etc. (Substance abuse, n.d.). Any individuals can develop situations of substance/drug abuse or dependency (Alcohol and drug, 2010). When individual repeatedly miss school or work because they are drunk or sleeping it off, their behavior may fit the definition of drug abuse. Usage and misuse of drugs is an act when either depressing or stimulating the central nervous system, which seems to provide the individual involved with predictable and effective ways to change on how they feel. It is quite frequent one choose the substance or drugs that aid him/her is a way to increase pleasure, or to decrease emotional or physical pain, or to gain sense of social belonging ( Alcohol and drug, 2010). A drug addiction can be classified as one of the psycho-biosocial disease. It is said so because drug addiction is progressive and chronic in nature (Matokrem, 2007). An individual may experience development of physical and psychological dependency on drugs and an immediate discontinuation can cause one to experience the withdrawal situation no matter in life or in society. Society acceptance here, means that the tendency of experiencing life of being valued, respected, loved and cared for others again as in second chance without any intention behind.( Abdul Rahman, Adawiah Dzulkifli, Rahah Sheik Dawood & Mohamad, 2009) It is best explained as society support and acceptance would be a good help for the individual involved dealing with problematic life, stress and helpless situations. As for the Malaysian context, Chow (2006) examined that, even though the actions and steps taken by the medical community in Malaysia in rehabilitating the addicts has been in a progressive way, but the record or stigma left behind by the former addicts has been overshadowing the rehabilitated effort and make the addicts to seek more help. Plus, he also stressed on other professions such as, psychologists, substance abuse counselors, medical doctors, social workers, psychiatrics and specific organization to put in more efforts to be part of the treatment community. Thus, he requests everyone not to put all hope and responsibilities solely on medical community. On the other hand, Agensi Anti Dadah Kebangsaan annual year (2013) report says that most of the potential relapse cases happen due to the lacking in support by society for the rehabilitated drug addicts whom left the rehabilitation centers and difficulties in for them to live independently without drugs. Mahmood Nazar, et. al (1999), further stressed on the significance on paying attention on re-established former drug addicts maintaining relationship with family, social activities, career, and healthy life style. A supportive and committed social environment can be a perfect 601 catalyst in helping addicts towards a rehabilitated life and a failure of society in functioning as mentioned above, would cost heavily on bringing the addicts back to the relapse life. Leaving aside of Malaysian laws which include the death penalty, drug usage among people or population in Malaysia, especially the young ones increasing steadily every year. As we look back at history, once Malaysia announced and declared the issue of drugs problems growing big and a national emergency a strict deterrent measures and a planned military mode set up rehabilitation were started focusing on cold turkey detox (Chiang,n.d.). As always, some issue will just never stop no matter how much one tries to stop or prohibits it from happening in which our nation, Malaysia by the end of 1996, our government that time declared the military style rehabilitation had largely failed and as in most of the countries whom failed, we were losing the fight and war against drugs too. In Malay Language it is known as Dadah. The function of the after effect of any drugs especially when one misuse it as a whole can be severe and painful, whether it s an illicit or legal prescription drugs. According to Chiang, n.d, Malaysia has become one of the most or highest in statistics when it comes to HIV disease due to drug abuse reason among the Asian region. As a result, the cost or the after effect to the community and families, tons of death tolls and rehab failures has emerged among us. Past studies has shown us that as for the among the youngster whom involved in drug misuse or abuse, there are several important figure that can be successfully rehabilitated to be drug free with an efficient individual, social and community based program. Suggestions impose that youngster whom involved in addiction and drug abuse can be changed their behaviors towards drug usage with proper intervention and rehabilitation programs. Problem Having a life that ensures or emphasizes on close relation with friends, relatives, parent and sibling, problem with drug abuse will increase our life physically, mentally and socially. It is human nature as most of us being closely involved with someone, such as a family member, spouse or friend, problems and situations will soon arise as the one whom displays drugs or substance abuse or addictive behavior, has a tendency to lead to emotional conflicts, and problems in managing relationships and getting along with others as in routine. This research will try to investigate on how one s society group accepts former addicts back to normal life and the opinions from several sections of fragmented society will be looks on to form a majority point of view upon rehabilitees addicts fate. Potential discrimination and out casting one addict is always there as when one attempts to misuse or abuse drugs is always viewed from a negative way and punishable actions. Therefore, it was suggested that social support which is available in our nation at the grass root level within community, which includes the family, should be investigated. The study also aims to investigate, the social support between the drug addicts and non-addicts, social support being received by the former addicts from three different ethnic groups namely the 602 dominant race, Malays, Chinese and Indians, and social support received by drug addicts and non-addicts based on the place of one originated from. Objective The objective of this study is to examine the possible societal factors that influence one to take drugs and get addicted to it and the main cause of relapse occurrence within reestablished or rehabilitated drug addicts. The transition from the on-going rehabilitation process to re-established ex drug addicts is a very important process and surveillance at this particular period toward addicts can be considered as a must process. It is because drug addiction can be considered as a type of disease because one can only feel drug-free feeling if it is only for the last breath of life (based on the interviews received). One can only achieve a perfect rehabilitated life with full society support and backing besides, willpower on anti-drug and coping skills (analysis on overcoming problems related drug addiction). Thus, it is recommended that the societal support and backing in Malaysia at the basis level within the community, inclusively the family, relatives, friends and peers should be studied. At this point, researcher would like to explicitly inform that in no way this research is going to attack any race or religion and sensitive issues or questions in particular. This paper would like to point out the fundamental opinion behalf former drug addicts and equalities they deserve for being rehabilitated, especially when the people involved or characteristic of inequalities being discussed later on in the study. Literature Review Based on the society acceptance issue towards former/rehabilitated drug addicts and how addicts find it hard to catch up with the normal independent and drug-free life back after rehabilitation, researches has come out with a research questions as a foundation for the study. The study will looks on from the society support such as parents, relatives and friends socializing, practical assistance, emotional, financial assistance, the advice and guidance. It also looks on the societal factors that contribute for a possible relapse and complicates the reestablished/rehabilitated drug addicts towards a rehabilitated life. As for the rehabilitated drug addicts, society backing and support is one of the major role that determines their second chance or rehabilitated life. Dimensions, such as, family, relatives, friends, and the place that one addict grew up and still living at the same place are the determinants or main elements of their rehabilitated life. If one of these factors fails them, the possibilities or chances of going back to the addiction life is always likely active. Addicts, addicted or even the relapsed one deserves humanity and second chance as we, the society don t have the rights in judging their life. Many articles have written and report the danger or drugs and we Malaysians are one of the top listed country once in drug trafficking but every mistakes deserves second chance for my opinion and especially the rehabilitated ones. It is said so because no punishment is greater than the punishment given by the society especially when it comes to put casting someone from a certain group of people and making it into a culture. 603 In other words, we can take the term Deviance in sociology as it refers to any behavior, belief, or condition that violates significant social norms in the society or group in which it occurs (Kendall, 2008). Although we usually think of deviance as a type of behavior, people might just think or regard as deviant if they express a radical or unusual belief system. Thus, we can apply this term and sociological application to former addicts situation too. By resolving this research question above, the study should tell us on our current societal order and its status in perceiving the former addicts back to rehabilitated life. What is Drug Addiction or Substance Abuse? Questions always arise on how does a drug abuse begin and used. It s getting started as one individual particularly during teenage years going through crisis in shaping identity. It doesn t matter whether it is a positive identity or a negative identity at this age because at the end of the day, it is all depending on the experience one going through and also the environment one grew. According to Shahid Ismail and Nazar Muhammad, there are few types of antisocial behavior and drug addiction or abuse/ misuse is just one of the types of the antisocial behavior being in a particular teenager itself and mostly due to stress reasons. They also suggested parents pessimist attitude towards controlling the discipline of their children since childhood, autocratic leadership, broken relationships, poor treatment within family members gives pressure to the children and thus, his or her emotions unstable leads to the addiction path as part of the antisocial behavior. Shahid and Nazar goes on to clarify that drug abuse or addiction no more small matter and it should be given proper attention and importance as facts such as lots of drug cases has been unsolved and has been part of routine since 1980s, involving teenagers mostly from 14 to 17 years old as the beginners and main addicts. One of the report from mainstream newspaper Utusan Malaysia on 11 th April 2000, 3 people found dead after drug addiction. They were alleged abused 4 tin gums at Cheras, Kuala Lumpur on 10 th April, which means previous day thus, concludes misuse of drugs can cause death instantaneously. On the other hand, medical journal on Classification of Substance-Related Disorders clarifies that drug abuse is a pattern of repeated use that leads to harmful and negative consequences. Destructive consequences may involve failure to encounter one individual s responsibilities, putting in situations where stuff used is physically dangerous such as an example: mixing with drinks (Substance abuse, n.d.) It is relevant with the point of drug addiction and abuse as the determining feature of drug abuse is whether an outline of drug using behavior becomes repeatedly linked to harmful consequences. Drug abuse thus slowly with a time of progress or long period of time would develop into drug dependency, a more severe disorder associated with emotional signs of dependence. 604 Relapse Relapse is a difficult and problematic challenge in the treatment of all behavior disorders. According to Fauziah (2008), she describes relapse as dynamic, complex and unpredictable. She also further examined that relapses can be more explained as addiction means, misuse, usage or intake of psychoactive material after one had received drug addiction rehabilitation or treatment, mentally or physically. The development of the external crisis such as uncertainty in managing problems, weak, stress, or the doubtful thinking that all issues cannot be resolved and immature thinking (Ibrahim,2009). This can be further explained as relapsed addicts usually go through confusion and do exaggerate due to the inability to think clearly, the trouble to remember things, unable to regulate their feelings and failure in anger management and incapable to manage feelings and emotions. According to Moos (2007), looking from the study of psychological elements said that, anxiety is one of the main elements especially for ex marijuana addicts faces low self-efficacy, a term defined as situation in which one individual feels confident and capable of performing a certain behavior. Rehabilitated drug addicts who experiencing low self-efficacy would have the tendency to go back to addiction after their release from treatment right at that moment. Rehabilitation Additional key purpose of relapse emphasized by the addicts was about the rehabilitation programme. There was a statement that the rehabilitation programme at the centre that they attended had not been effective. Also, some former addicts in the study reported that they have not been well-informed about post-rehabilitation programme (Social support among, n.d ) In addition, some suggestions claims that they were not interested in participating in the post-rehab programme, or quit from the programme due to lack of interest. An in-depth study on this matter could throw valuable information on the attractiveness and efficiency of aftercare programmes. Pengasih PENGASIH Malaysia was initiated as a Self-Help Group in 1987 by 4 former drug users. As the group grew bigger and drug-related issues in Malaysia became chronic, the need to transform itself into a healing movement became inevitable. Thus, PENGASIH Malaysia was founded as a registered Malaysian NGO in The successful formation of PENGASIH was the result of strong support given by our beloved patron, the late Tan Sri Megat Junid bin Megat Ayob, the Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs. Currently, our patron is the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Dato Saifuddin Abdullah. The member of PENGASIH has worked really hard from the beginning in spreading their healing messages within the Malaysian public. Eventually, the activities in Drug Prevention, 605 Intervention and Rehabilitation progressively began to gain acceptance and recognition in Malaysia as well as an abroad. In a way to achieve the vision and goals effectively, PENGASIH had works closely with domestic and international bodies. Thus, they love to learn from others and love to share what they knew. And because of this belief, it has brought PENGASIH to several parts of the world. PENGASIH had gain more friends with the same mission towards Drug-free Lifestyle. They had garnered a lot of involvement from most of Asia Pacific country and Europe such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Iran, Sri Langka, the Maldives, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Philipines, Thailand, China, Russia, Australia, South Africa, Austria, Spain, Italy, Peru and USA. This is to make sure that they could share and find out the best solutions to overcome with the problems. In spite of PENGASIH who has affiliated with the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities Inc, based in New York where PENGASIH s President, Yunus Pathi, is currently the 2nd Vice President of WFTC, they also affiliated with Asian Federation of Therapeutic Communities (AFTC) based in the Phillipines, Daytop Inc in New York, PERTAPIS Singapore, AIN Society Singapore and National Anti-Drugs Agency Malaysia. PENGASIH will continue to strive for excellence in their Therapeutic Community efforts. Methodology This study will employ the use of qualitative research methods to examine the question of society factors in contributing possible relapse and complications faced by re-established or rehabilitated drug addicts towards a rehabilitated life. The methods specifically will consist a series of interviews with pre-selected a respondent who has been selected using purposive sampling techniques. The data collected will be investigated or examined to understand the respondents viewpoint on the research questions. For this precise study the technique used will be in-depth interviewing. The purpose for this is, in-depth interviewing is perfect for collecting takes on delicate subjects such as proposing a more complete image of what happened and why. Moreover among all the other qualitative research method in-depth interviewing is the most suit
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