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?

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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.

What is Substance Abuse and Addiction About?

A junkie. Someone, who lives for doing drugs. Indifferent. Uncontrollable and reckless. Steals, lies, cheats. Scary, aggressive, dangerous. Pathetic, miserable. Dirty. Hopeless.

These are images that may pop up, when we think of a junkie. How does someone become a junkie? When I was a teenager, in the 90’s, a police officer visited our school to give us a lecture about drug abuse. He showed us what hasch looked like and his main message was: don’t try drugs, because if you do, you’ll get hooked. As many of us experienced during the upcoming years, for ourselves or through friends and family, this isn’t necessarily how it works.

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