'Motivation, will power key factors in counselling'

Workshop on de-addiction at Mangalore University

  Is there a change in behaviour or is he spending a lot of time alone? Does your toilet smell unusual once he leaves it? Beware, he may be addicted to drugs! But, these are only signs and only a doctor will be able to make a proper diagnosis, explained Head of the Department of Psychiatry at Kasturba Medical college in Mangalore, Dr Ravish Tunga.

Delivering the keynote address at the workshop on ‘de-addiction’ jointly organised by Mangalore University Department of Mass Communication and Journalism and the Karnataka State Madyapana Sayyama Mandali at Mangalagangothri, he went describing the various forms of substance abuse, its causes, symptoms, effects and treatment methods. Dr Tunga said that a person may turn to alcoholism due to reasons related to parents, siblings, friends, academic pressure and teachers, at the same time due to the effect of the society like wrong models, bad company, poverty, unemployment and also easy money. Once a person, takes in any substance, like alcohol or drugs, there is always pressure to try more and subsequently he becomes an addict. The concept of social drinking is catching up these days, but no one realises that it may lead to bigger evils, Dr Tunga exclaimed.

Substance abuse affects a person physically as well as mentally. Physically it affects the liver, heart and brain. More than 65 per cent of Coronary heart patients have a history in alcoholism. It leads to a state of psychosis, depression and memory impairment. The addicts show severe withdrawal symptoms when denied the substance. 

Treatment to addiction can be medical as well as psychosocial. A multidisciplinary approach involving relatives and the society is more effective. People need motivation and will power above anything else to de-addict themselves while early detection, timely treatment, psychological support and humane consideration often helps a lot, Dr Tunga explained.

Responding to a query, he said that it is foolish to wait for the government to do anything to check drug abuse and added that media has a positive and negative effect on young people depending upon what is given prominence.

Dean of Social Work at School of Social Work, Roshni Nilaya, Ramila Shekhar, Director of Link De-addiction Centre T S Thomas and Head of the Department of Social Work at Mangalore University Leena Ashok were the resource persons for the one-day workshop. Head of the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism Prof G P Shivaram and others were present on the occasion. Students of Mass Communication as well as Social Work of Mangalore University took part in the workshop.

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