The use of narcotics generally refers to the misuse of drugs such as alcohol, amphetamines, caffeine, marijuana, cocaine, hallucinogens, sniffing agents, nicotine, painkillers and tranquillizers.

People who are addicted to a specific drug need more and more quantities of the drug, have withdrawal symptoms and have trouble reducing the use of the drug.

Over the course of time, daily users can be negatively affected by the use of narcotics, with impact on relationships, work performance and daily routines, which support health and effective coping mechanisms.

People who suffer from disorders caused by the abuse of narcotics usually need medical treatment in the hospital or outpatient clinic. However, such interventions are increasingly taking place in an outpatient setting that is integrated with other neighborhood-oriented health services.

In many cases, people with disorders due to drug abuse also have other physical or mental disorders, such as clinical depression, chronic pain, and HIV. Medication, counseling, rehabilitation and self-help groups are the most common ways to treat these disorders.

Occupational therapy differs from traditional drug Addiction Treatment Center or counseling by learning skills that are necessary for each individual to re-establish roles as working, spouse, parent, child or friend without drugs. People with addiction can learn effective coping strategies to balance their responsibilities, deal with money, communicate effectively with others and deal with stressful situations.

What can an occupational therapist do?

  • To evaluate someone’s ability to function on a daily basis.
  • Helping someone to set both short and long term goals in the recovery process.
  • Implementing ways in which the person concerned can gain control over his or her life, such as by learning effective coping skills, developing strategies for dealing with money, doing household chores, caring for other family members, finding and keeping a job , and learn to be social in situations where no drugs or alcohol are used.
  • Assess the likelihood of relapse and set up strategies to prevent relapse.

What can families do?

  • Collaborate with the occupational therapist and other health care professionals to learn more about alcohol-drug abuse.
  • Support a friend or family member with a problem with narcotics so that he or she can not relapse and can engage in healthy alternatives to improve their quality of life.
  • Helping the recovering addict to develop and maintain relationships that promote an alcohol and drug-free environment.
  • Participate in self-help groups, such as Al-Anon, to receive continuous support and education.

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