Introducing: Breaking the circle

We are three 2nd year Social Services students writing under the aliases Lil´ Lion, Aurora and Yrjänä. This is our blog about substance abuse and different topics related to it. Among these topics we will also consider how to exert influence while promoting and reinforcing inclusion within this client group together with working life partners.

The Paradox of the War on Drugs

The international conversation around ending the war on drugs has been going on for decades, yet a clear unravelment has not been found so far. However, what if i told you, that a policy as paradoxical as decriminalizing drug use, is universally praised for it´s effectiveness in response to defeating the drug war?

Lue lisää The Paradox of the War on Drugs

Saving everything around it.

Drug addictions are often seen as personal experiences and many might not take into consideration the fact that drugs and other substances can turn loving and caring homes into battle zones. Support for family members can often be overlooked and seen as unnecessary, when in fact, it is just as important as the support given to the addict.

Lue lisää Saving everything around it.

Influencing in the substance abuse services

When interviewing the professional from a substance abuse organization we asked about one of the main topics of our course: influencing. It feels like a huge topic to begin with. It gets easier to understand when you cut it into smaller pieces; How and when can a client influence within the services they are offered? How can a professional influence and in which issues? And why is it important for them to use their chances to do so?

Lue lisää Influencing in the substance abuse services

Cutting the Sting of Stigma

The sting of stigma can be intensely painful to those affected by it. It influences individuals who may be every bit as creative, intelligent, talented and humanly flawed as the next person. People who suffer from substance dependence, are heavily stigmatized in the eyes of the society. They are often not acknowledged as complex individuals, but are rather defined by their substance reliance.

To put things into perspective, i would like to evoke a quick time lapse to the ancient Greece. In ancient Greece, “stigma” referred to a skin mark they left on the bodies of criminals, slaves, and traitors to identify them as immoral. These people were ritually polluted, looked down on and avoided.

The origin of stigma´s definition truly makes you raise an eyebrow, considering that this is more or less, what occurs in our modern, “civilized” society. Stigmatized people today might not be given a skin mark, but they are given discriminative labels. Labels which portray them as indecent and outlawed. Collective discrimination is still very much awoken in our society. This prevailing, due to generational prejudices and harmful stereotypes.

Lue lisää Cutting the Sting of Stigma

How the pandemic has affected substance abuse & services in Finland

Prior to starting this blog, we interviewed a professional from a substance abuse organization. During this interview we asked the professional how the COVID-19 has affected the substance abuse in Finland. For them personally the pandemic has not had a big effect when it comes to their work because they mostly handle phone- and online services. Regardless of this they have noticed the general decline in well being when it comes to the substance abuse service clients.  

Lue lisää How the pandemic has affected substance abuse & services in Finland

Preventing The Cycle 🔄

The risk of drug abuse increases a lot during negative life changes. For adults, this might be a divorce or a loss of a job. For a teenager it can be a parent’s divorce, changing schools, or moving. Children and young people are exposed to different kinds of substances such as cigarettes and alcohol during their school years.  (National Institute on Drug Abuse 2020)  

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Lives Left Ungrievable

-The concerning rise in drug deaths-

Pills, Overdose, Health, Drug, Narcotic
source: pixabay

In an era where retrieving drugs can be more or less, as simple as an order from the internet, a delivery to your doorstep like pizza, getting your hands on drugs is easier than ever.

Considering even this revelation alone, the boost in drug-related deaths might not come as a big shocker to you.

Even so, drug-related deaths are often invisible in the eyes of the society, due to the heavily criminalized and stigmatized image that drug abusers carry. Yet, as the peek in death numbers remains a worrisome occurrence, this matter can not be overlooked. As a future social services worker myself, i cannot help but ponder on this issue.

That brings me here, assembling questions such as what stands behind these booming death numbers ,who do they include and ultimately, is there something that can be done to diminish the severity of this dispute?

In light of reinforcing inclusion, here´s hoping that by bringing forward this incidence i will be able to raise awareness, increase empathy and thus, humanize drug abusers.

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About substance abuse in Finland

To kick things off with this blog I have collected some information about substance use and abuse in Finland. As I wasn´t that familiar with the subject myself I felt that it might be useful to start from the basics before getting deeper into other issues surrounding this topic.

Lue lisää About substance abuse in Finland