Posted by & filed under OASI Events, Press Releases.

On the 25th March a lecture was held by OASI Foundation, entitled ‘Co- morbidity: Mental illness and Addiction’. Psychiatrists Dr Chantelle Azzopardi and Dr Joseph Fenech gave further insight during this event, on a variety of mental illnesses together with their relationship with addiction and vice versa. The lecture was well-attended with participants all hailing from different professions mostly related to health care.

Dr. Fenech expressed that major depressive disorder is one of the most common mood disorders out there. Major depressive disorder does not usually know its origins from one specific thing, but rather has causes attributed to varies aspects. Dr Fenech highlighted that depression is not a mere feeling of sadness one might experience as we go through life, but is most often a debilitating disorder. Most often, there is a two-way relationship when it comes to substance use and depression. This is due to the fact that several people make use of substances to deal with the symptoms of depression. Although this might seem as a ‘quick fix’ for their problem, it has the potential of exacerbating their illness, most often, this substance being alcohol. Similarly, to major depressive disorder, people also at times make use of substances as a way to self-medicate during the depressive state. Bi-polar however includes a state of mania or hypomania where the person does not constantly feel down and helpless, but rather experiences of state of increased energy, beliefs of grandiosity, fast and incoherent speech and reckless behaviour. This same reckless behaviour is why most often people then make use of substances. Dr Fenech remarked that comorbidity tends to complicate both mood and anxiety disorders and addiction, therefore it is important for addiction rehabilitation centres and mental health services to work together to improve the chances of success.

Both Dr Fenech and Dr Azzopardi evoked that causation and treatment of disorders is to take place holistically, keeping in mind, biological, psychological and social factors, based on the biopsychosocial model. For instance, during assessment, any medical issues which might be affected the person are looked into. Once these are omitted, therapy can start including the use of medication if these are needed. It was mentioned that medications do not start helping the patient from day one, but would usually need around four to six weeks to take effect.

With addiction, the aspect of self-medication is usually more prominent as people might use alcohol, opiates, benzodiazepines and cannabis as a way of taking the edge of the extremely distressing anxiety. The substances used will very often greatly worsen the disorder.

Dr. Azzopardi remarked that diagnosis in psychiatry is crucial for several reasons, including to help the patient understand their condition better. At the same time diagnosis, can unfortunately, even in this day and age, bring with it a certain sense of stigma or shame. Statistics show that when working with addicts, there will most often be a diagnosis of mental illness. Psychosis, which includes delusions and hallucinations which most often affect memory and ability to function can be drug-induced. This does not take place only when someone is using substances actively but also at times during withdrawals.

Dr. Azzopardi also insisted that there is a relationship between psychosis and cannabis and although this does not mean that whoever uses cannabis will end up with symptoms of psychosis, it is a risk they would be taking. In fact, the more frequent the use of cannabis is, the more are the chances of developing psychosis. When it comes to personality disorders, the most common in addiction are borderline personality disorder and dissocial personality disorder.

Treatment requires several building blocks including being respectful, setting healthy boundaries, building trust and giving time to mention a few, when dealing with dual diagnosis patients. Being direct and empowering also helps the patient to look at treatment more positively as opposed to feeling ashamed or stigmatised due to their conditions.

The OASI Foundation would like to thank all speakers and participants for their participation and contribution.

 

Press Coverage :

 

Posted by & filed under Articles, OASI Services.

Thiamine is one essential nutrient needed by the body to convert the foods we eat into energy. It is known as the transformer, which converts carbohydrates, fats and proteins into energy for our organs to function. However, thiamine is not produced by the body itself, but rather depends on the foods we consume on a day-to-day basis.

There are several food items which contain thiamine including:

  • pork and beef
  • fish
  • seeds
  • nuts
  • beans
  • green peas
  • asparagus
  • seafood
  • eggs
  • whole grain products (cereals, rice, flour, pasta)

Of course, there are other foods out there that might contain smaller amounts of thiamine such as fruits and vegetables.

Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1 can also be taken as a dietary supplement.

 

What happens when there is a thiamine deficiency?

A body deficient of thiamine starts to degenerate, particularly most trouble would occur in the nervous and circulatory systems. This is rare in healthy individuals, however, people who drink excessive amounts of alcohol are more likely to suffer some thiamine deficiency. In fact, up to 80% of alcoholics end up developing this deficiency. This is a result to the inflammation caused by alcohol of the stomach lining and digestive tract, which significantly reduced the body’s ability to absorb vitamins.

The end result is thiamine deficiency which may lead to:

  • loss of appetite
  • fatigue
  • constipation
  • irritability
  • nausea
  • muscle weakness
  • tingling sensation in the arms and legs
  • beriberi and/or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome

Alcohol is not the only culprit here as other conditions which might lead to this deficiency include people who had bariatric surgery, people suffering from diabetes, and HIV/AIDS. Age is also a significant factor; thus, older adults are also at risk.

Initially, most people often go undiagnosed being that the first symptoms are non-specific. In fact, beriberi and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome are often when the body does not absorb thiamine over a period of time and both of these conditions can be fatal if not treated in time.

 

What are the treatment options?

Naturally, an alcoholic would benefit significantly if they abstain from drinking through the help of A.A meetings or through counselling sessions. Therapy is available, and for further information, one can look into 12 Step Programs for Addiction. Alcohol WILL block the absorption of thiamine!

On the other hand, a nutritious and varied diet can also be beneficial and this can be supported with B1 supplements.

If you are feeling concerned, you can also talk to your GP or health professional for more information about thiamine and other deficiencies.

Posted by & filed under News, Press Releases.

We would like to draw the attention of all the media that as of this morning, 14 December at 10am, we have not received any reply to our letter to Hon. Joe Mizzi and the members of the petitions committee of Parliament to close the petition proposing amendments to the cannabis law so that they can be discussed by the committee.

According to paragraph 6.1 of the parliamentary committee's guidelines on petitions: "When an online petition is created, it will automatically be open for signature for a period of sixty days. In the event of a wish to shorten or extend this period, a request shall be made to the Committee on Petitions."

According to clause 7.2 the Committee may decide to call on the petitioner to appear before the Committee. It may also request that the petitioner make a brief presentation and / or answer any questions from Members of the same Committee. A petitioner summoned to appear before the Committee may request to be assisted by another person, who may intervene only with the permission of the Committee.

Through a letter sent to Hon. Mizzi, the organizations called for the implementation of clauses 6.1 and 7.2 of the guidelines in order to close the petition so that it could be discussed by the committee. In this way, the petition could be discussed before the third reading of the law. It is clear that the Government will ignore this request and pass the law in  a rushed manner and without any real consultation with the many stakeholders who have spoken out.

By the time the signatures were collected, in just 5 days more than 9375 citizens had signed a petition to parliament to amend Bill 241. Psychiatrists, doctors, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, constituted bodies, NGOs that working in the field of prevention and treatment and many other organizations proposed  their amendments to Government which did not accept a single amendment and decided to only listen to one pro-cannabis association.

If this law is passed, it will have very serious consequences for the mental health of many young people and adults and will promote a culture of drug use. While all organizations are in favour of decriminalizing cannabis users, they disagree with normalizing the use of cannabis. This law is being presented as a progressive law for our country but it will have very negative consequences for the wellbeing of the Maltese and Gozitan people.

  1. Caritas Malta
  2. OASI Foundation
  3. Malta Employers’ Association (MEA)
  4. Malta Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  5. Medical Association of Malta (MAM)
  6. Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN)
  7. Malta Chamber of Pharmacists
  8. Gozo Business Chamber
  9. Malta Association of Social Workers
  10. Malta Association of Psychiatry
  11. Secretariat for Catholic Education (SfCE)
  12. Church Schools’ Association
  13. Gozo Tourism Association
  14. Richmond Foundation
  15. MAPA MALTA
  16. International Schools Association
  17. Catholic Voices
  18. Zghazagh Azzjoni Kattolika ZAK
  19. Azzjoni Kattolika
  20. Malta Girl Guides
  21. Home Away from Home
  22. National Foster Care Association Malta
  23. National Parents Society for Persons with Disability
  24. St Jeanne Antide Foundation
  25. Paolo Freire Institute
  26. Millennium Chapel
  27. SOS Malta
  28. Dar Merhba Bik
  29. Youth Alive Foundation
  30. Social Assistance Secretariat
  31. Kummissjoni Djocesana Djakonija
  32. Dar tal-Providenza
  33. Society St Vincent De Paule
  34. Church Homes for the Elderly
  35. Ufficcju Hidma Pastorali mal-Persuni Separati
  36. Mater Dei and Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre Chaplains
  37. RISE Foundation
  38. Dar Hosea
  39. Peace and Good Foundation
  40. Migrants Commission
  41. Kummissjoni Gustizzja u Paci
  42. Osanna Pia Foundation
  43. Fondazzjoni Sebħ
  44. Life Network Foundation
  45. Karl Vella Foundation
  46. Malta CAN (Children’s Associations Network)
  47. National Association of Pensioners
  48. H.E. President Emeritus Marie Louise Coleiro Preca
  49. Professor Andrew Azzopardi, Dean, Faculty of Social Wellbeing, UoM
  50. Dr Claire Azzopardi Lane, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Social Wellbeing, UoM
  51. Dr Colin Calleja, Dean, Faculty of Education, UoM
  52. Dr Michelle Attard Tonna, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Education, UoM
  53. Dr Sandra Scicluna, Head, Department of Criminology, Faculty for Social Wellbeing UoM
  54. Georgina Debattista, Visiting Senior Lecturer, Faculty for Social Wellbeing, UoM
  55. Max Cassar, Department of Psychology, UoM
  56. Angela Caruana - Children's Rights Activist

 

Press Coverage:


Nixtiequ niġbdu l-attenzjoni tal-mezzi tax-xandir kollha li sa dalgħodu, 14 ta’ Diċembru fl-10am għadna ma rċevejna l-ebda risposta għall-ittra tagħna lill-Onorevoli Joe Mizzi u l-membri tal-kumitat tal-petizzjonijiet tal-parlament biex tingħalaq il-petizzjoni li qed tipproponi emendi fil-ligi tal-Cannabis u tiġi diskussa mill-kumitat.

Skont in-numru 6.1 tal-linji gwida tal-kumitat parlamentari dwar il-petizzjonijiiet:“Meta tiġi kkreata petizzjoni online, b’mod awtomatiku din tkun miftuħa għall-firem għall-perjodu ta’ sittin ġurnata. F’każ li wieħed ikun jixtieq iqassar jew itawwal dan il-perjodu, għandha ssir talba lill-Kumitat dwar il-Petizzjonijiet”.

Skont klawżola 7.2 Il-Kumitat jista’ jiddeċiedi li jsejjaħ lill-petizzjonant biex jidher quddiem il-Kumitat. Jista’ wkoll jitlob li l-petizzjonant jagħmel preżentazzjoni fil-qosor u/jew iwieġeb xi domandi tal-Membri tal-istess Kumitat. Petizzjonant li jiġi mgħajjat biex jidher quddiem il-Kumitat jista’ jitlob li jkun assistit minn persuna oħra, liema persuna tista’ tintervjeni biss bil-permess tal-Kumitat.

Permezz ta’ ittra mibgħuta lill-Onor Mizzi, l-għaqdiet talbu li jiġu implimentati  klawżoli 6.1 u 7.2 tal-linji gwida biex tingħalaq il-petizzjoni u tiġi diskussa mill-Kumitat. Dan biex il-petizzjoni tiġi diskussa qabel ma’ jsir it-Tielet Qari tal-liġi. Jidher ċar li l-Gvern se jinjora din it-talba u jgħaddi il-liġi b’mod mgħaġġel u mingħajr l-ebda konsultazzjoni reali mal-ħafna stakeholders li semmgħu leħinhom.

Sakemm baqgħu jinġabru il-firem, f’ħamest ijiem biss iktar minn 9375 ċittadin iffirmaw il-petizzjoni lill-parlament biex isiru emendi għall-abbozz ta’ Liġi 241. Psikjatri, tobba, infermiera, social workers, farmaċisti, korpi kostitwiti, NGOs li jaħdmu fil-qasam tal-prevenzjoni u l-kura u bosta għaqdiet oħra għaddew l-emendi tagħhom lill-Gvern li baqa’ m’aċċetta l-ebda emenda waħda u ddeċieda li jisma’ primarjament minn għaqda waħda li hija r-Relief.

Jekk tgħaddi kif inhi din il-Liġi se jkollha konsegwenzi serji ħafna fuq is-saħħa mentali ta’ ħafna żgħażagħ u adulti u se tippromwovi kultura tal-konsum tad-droga. L-organizzazzjonijiet kollha huma favur id-dekriminilizzazzjoni tal-persuni li jikkonsmaw il-Cannabis. Din il-liġi qed tiġi ppreżentati bħala liġi progressista għal pajjiżna imma se tħalli konsegwenzi negattivi ħafna għall-wellbeing tal-poplu Malti u Għawdxi.  

  1. Caritas Malta
  2. OASI Foundation
  3. Malta Employers’ Association (MEA)
  4. Malta Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  5. Medical Association of Malta (MAM)
  6. Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN)
  7. Malta Chamber of Pharmacists
  8. Gozo Business Chamber
  9. Malta Association of Social Workers
  10. Malta Association of Psychiatry
  11. Secretariat for Catholic Education (SfCE)
  12. Church Schools’ Association
  13. Gozo Tourism Association
  14. Richmond Foundation
  15. MAPA MALTA
  16. International Schools Association
  17. Catholic Voices
  18. Zghazagh Azzjoni Kattolika ZAK
  19. Azzjoni Kattolika
  20. Malta Girl Guides
  21. Home Away from Home
  22. National Foster Care Association Malta
  23. National Parents Society for Persons with Disability
  24. St Jeanne Antide Foundation
  25. Paolo Freire Institute
  26. Millennium Chapel
  27. SOS Malta
  28. Dar Merhba Bik
  29. Youth Alive Foundation
  30. Social Assistance Secretariat
  31. Kummissjoni Djocesana Djakonija
  32. Dar tal-Providenza
  33. Society St Vincent De Paule
  34. Church Homes for the Elderly
  35. Ufficcju Hidma Pastorali mal-Persuni Separati
  36. Mater Dei and Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre Chaplains
  37. RISE Foundation
  38. Dar Hosea
  39. Peace and Good Foundation
  40. Migrants Commission
  41. Kummissjoni Gustizzja u Paci
  42. Osanna Pia Foundation
  43. Fondazzjoni Sebħ
  44. Life Network Foundation
  45. Karl Vella Foundation
  46. Malta CAN (Children’s Associations Network)
  47. National Association of Pensioners
  48. H.E. President Emeritus Marie Louise Coleiro Preca
  49. Professor Andrew Azzopardi, Dean, Faculty of Social Wellbeing, UoM
  50. Dr Claire Azzopardi Lane, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Social Wellbeing, UoM
  51. Dr Colin Calleja, Dean, Faculty of Education, UoM
  52. Dr Michelle Attard Tonna, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Education, UoM
  53. Dr Sandra Scicluna, Head, Department of Criminology, Faculty for Social Wellbeing UoM
  54. Georgina Debattista, Visiting Senior Lecturer, Faculty for Social Wellbeing, UoM
  55. Max Cassar, Department of Psychology, UoM
  56. Angela Caruana - Children's Rights Activist

Posted by & filed under Articles.

It is surprising how our surroundings can leave an impact on our mental health. When we think of mental health, automatically we think of craziness, insanity, madness, and so on, just because of the word mental in the phrase. However, we fail to see that mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. And it also helps to determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choice. So how does the environment affect our mental health?

Everything from our house, city we live in, the state we live in to the weather in our area, and our work environment. Even so, the pandemics, the health state in our country, and also the socio-economic state of the country. These all play a factor in our mental health, and the places you spend a lot of time in can have a significant impact on our well-being; both physically and mentally. 

Aesthetics, such as cluttered spaces, can create feelings of overwhelming and anxiety. While on the contrary, having a tidy space can invoke a sense of calmness and will help the person to have a clear mind.

The sensory factors in the environment, such as lighting, sounds, smell and color palette, are very important as they influence how comfortable, relaxed and safe a person might feel. For example, having harsh lighting and loud noises can lead to anxiety and agitation, while dark and cold places can lead to feeling afraid and anxious.

As important as it can be to pass on traditional and cultural values, it can also be detrimental to some people. Living in a society that shuns people for being different, or even for having problems mental health itself, can instill feelings of isolation and depression can arise. Isolation, and additionally loneliness, can contribute to lack of communications and relationships.

Additionally, familiarity to the place can also have its influence. If the environment is familiar to you or reminds you to past trauma, such environment might not be ideal as it may trigger you past feelings of anxiety. Having positive association to the environment, on the contrary, such as happy memories from your childhood, can help to boost mood and a sense of connection to the place.

Thus, how can we better our environment to better our mental health? In order to make change, we need to start by changing the things we have control over and that can be accomplished relatively easy. An example of this, if you find yourself spending most of your time in your room, start by organizing your space; declutter, make more space, rearrange things that will make them more practical and functional. Evaluate the light in your room, and change the lighting to make the room brighter. And if need be, evaluate whether your space is truly healthy and whether it is enabling your decrease in mental health. It is important that we notice the connections between how you’re feeling and your surroundings, and what is triggering such feelings.

Do not be afraid to accept your mental health, as acceptance is the first step to a healthy approach to your well-being. Being aware of your environment and it’s connections can help us better understand our feelings.

Posted by & filed under OASI Events, Press Releases.

Substance use is becoming more and more normalised, where society’s approach towards drug use is changing quite fast. This abruptness by which societal change takes place does not always ripple down into properly informed individuals. The use of medicinal cannabis has been a controversial topic which raises a lot of questions and concerns.

To help increase awareness and clarify some of the misconceptions on the 24th September an online lecture was held by the OASI Foundation, entitled ‘Medical Cannabis… Myth or                               

Miracle? Dr. Aloisia Camillleri, an addiction consultant psychiatrist was the main speaker and this lecture was held in collaboration with the Malta Association for Social Workers and the Malta Chamber of Psychologists. The lecture was well attended, with a total of forty-nine participants, all hailing from different professions, mostly relating to social sciences.  

Mr. Noel Xerri, OASI Chief Executive introduced the subject, followed by Ms Gail Debono, a warranted forensic psychologist, representing the Malta Chamber of Psychologists. Ms Debono

 spoke about the lack of information regarding medical cannabis, and quoted research which expressed how a large number of professionals require more information in their curriculum as learning professionals. Ms. Kerry Hermitage, a current affairs & PR officer represented the Malta Association for Social Workers, followed Ms Debono’s message, remarking that the issue of medicinal cannabis needs to be evidence based and similar lectures of discussion are essential to help professionals expand their knowledge. She concluded that we need to view issues from a holistic perspective and that it is important that people across the board are all on the same page with regards to information on medicinal cannabis.

Dr Camilleri, the main speaker mentioned that the Maltese Association of Psychiatry are in favour of medical cannabis, only when these is scientific evidence that is beneficial for particular conditions. Conditions that have been backed by research, were medicinal cannabis proved indeed helpful are some types of epilepsy in children, some cancer patients, were medicinal cannabis helped with nausea and lack of appetite, and in some cases of chronic pain. Dr Camilleri remarked that other conditions are only backed with little or no research for one to be able to justify the benefits of medical cannabis. Currently, 1900 people are prescribed medicinal cannabis in Malta.

Dr Camilleri also insisted that medicinal cannabis can be detrimental in some mental health conditions like ADHD, bipolar disorder and depression.

The OASI Foundation would like to thank all speakers, entities and participants for their participation and contribution.

 

Press Coverage:

Posted by & filed under OASI Events, Press Releases.

OASI is a non-governmental and not-for- profit organisation with its headquarters in Victoria Gozo. Its operations are deep rooted in the social needs and care of the people with a specific mission to see to the social caring of issues and cases of drug and alcohol abuse and other addictions. The services are open to all and are given free of charge.

Since its very foundation in June 1991, OASI Foundation has continuously created various awareness campaigns and to enhance a positive mentality amongst our community through its slogan Life is beautiful… worth living! Through Social Awareness department has always reached children and youths through innovative ways. Through informal learning, the Foundation can proudly state that it has helped various youths who either were on their first steps of developing an addiction or was an eye opener to seek help to overcome their addiction. More than that, OASI has offered treatment and rehabilitation to hundreds of youths in difficulty to find their way to recovery.

Over the years, the Youths 4 Youths project has always been a huge success with children who attended where they had a great time while learning invaluable lessons. HSBC Malta Foundation

 has been supporting the Foundation since 2013, with the organisation of the Youths 4 Youths project. The aim behind this project is to target Gozitan children and help them socialize with others through edutainment activities, while also providing a safe and healthy learning environment. Despite, the recent uncertainties we have faced this past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year remarked the 8th edition of this event.  We also had 34 young participants whose ages ranged between 6 to 13 years of age. Thanks to Calypso Trains, youths were transported to the Government Experimental Farm in Xewkija, and toured around the premises which provided insight on indigenous fauna and agricultural methods.

Thereafter, the children were back to OASI where they had a quick break and the opportunity to get to know one another. Sports games were also organised by Ms Mary Angie by which we aim to promote a healthier lifestyle, both physically and mentally.  At the end of the activity, a certificate of participation was awarded to the children for their attendance. This activity will ultimately help children to view the OASI Foundation not only as an institution, but as a safe place where people can seek help if they should ever be involved in any social problems.

The OASI Foundation would like to thank HSBC Malta Foundation for the sponsorship along the years, as without its help, such an activity would not be possible.

 

Press Coverage

Posted by & filed under Articles, OASI Services.

What happens during drug dependence and what are the leading factors? There are in fact several factors which contribute to substance dependence, including societal, biological, environmental factors, age of first use, and family history, just to name a few. In this article however, the main focus will be the biological factor, more specifically, what happens in the human brain when someone makes use of substances.

Neurotransmitters: what are they?

First things first, the route of communication in the brain is through chemical messages also known as neurotransmitters. Drugs, including alcohol interfere with these neurotransmitters, which of course, might have a detrimental effect on the brain. One of these effects affect what is known as the pleasure/pain centres in the brain. Our brains have been wired through a long process of evolution and a will to survive, to wherever possible, maximise pleasure and minimise pain. Ultimately, this is an adaptive behaviour which is necessary for us to survive. Therefore, it is necessary to feel good while we eat, otherwise we might not find it necessary to do so. On the other hand, it is essential that we feel pain when we touch fire or a hot item, otherwise we would not be aware of imminent danger which would possibly be life threatening.

How do drugs affect the brain?

Drugs affect the brain by signalling the brain to create a high of pleasure leaving the person feeling temporarily confident, creative and amused. Of course, this artificial high will interfere with the brain’s natural reward system, including natural survival processes. It is fair to mention that not everyone who tries out a drug will end up becoming an addict, however, it is impossible to predict who is at more risk. Studies show that the more one uses drugs the more neurobiological changes than place inside the brain. Therefore, the best solution for this would be not to attempt drug use in the first place. After some time interfering with this pleasure/pain centre, together with drug withdrawals and the general consequences of drug use, it becomes increasing difficult to produce the same effect. Hence, the user would now need to up the dose of that drug or shift to a more potent drug and all of this, is to feel normal or pain free. The person who once sought drugs infrequently for bouts of temporary pleasure, is now making frequent, if not daily use of drugs to get rid of pain.

Moreover, the longer the person stays in the dependence stage, the harder it is for them to stop albeit not impossible. If a person however, decides that they will stop using their drug of choice and make use of another drug, they might risk entering the world of cross addiction or else a relapse.

Would occasional use be a good idea?

Some people who have had a hard time with drugs might tend to think that they will somehow learn to control their use and that they will resort to a strict schedule, where they will only make use of their drug of choice on the weekends or once a month. This is indeed rarely possible, over a long period of time. The reason behind this is that as long as a person keeps playing with fire, they are bound to get burnt. What works best seems to be total abstinence from both alcohol and drugs. As mentioned before, one drug can lead to another. You may have never had a problem with marijuana or alcohol, but if you start using them, you might 1. Get addicted to them or 2. Lead you back to your drug of choice.  Furthermore, treatment is about learning new coping skills and adopting a new way of living. If a person wants to keep making use of some substances but others, would they be learning new skills and learn to live independently?

Process of addiction

Occasional use

  • Drugs can be introduced by friends, family or romantic relationships. The person might also experiment for various reasons.
  • The first few attempts at drug use are usually negative experiences.
  • The user starts to believe that they are in control of their use and that they can still manage school, work, family life etc.
  • Some people stay in this stage for a lengthy period of time.

Regular use

  • The person actively searches for the drug and ensures that they have a steady supply for them use.
  • Find it difficult to enjoy a social occasion or deal with life stressors without it.
  • May start to drop out and isolate themselves.

Dependence

  • At this stage, substances have become a significant part of someone’s life.
  • Activities which the person enjoyed before are no longer enjoyable.
  • Financial and legal difficulties might come in which force the user to beg, steal or illegally make money to feed their addiction.
  • Lie to family members and loved ones about their whereabouts and their activities.
  • Users can also deny that there is a problem.

Of course, with drug and alcohol use there are several risks and consequences. We can agree that the worse scenario is indeed death, were the person is not granted a second chance to try again, attempt a rehabilitation program, focus on the positives and enjoy a healthy and sane life. Overdoses can be intended or unintended.

It is never too late to seek help. Recovery is a tough journey, it requires hard work, trust, communication and a strong support system but these are all worth it. Additionally, the first step is always the hardest, yet if the first step does not happen, there cannot be the second, the third and the fourth.

The OASI foundation can offer this help. If you or a loved one are going through this difficult journey, reach out to our foundation and we will together discuss what help we can offer to deal with the hardships and pain of an addiction.