Care for addicted people

Care for the addicted person by Mick Devine, Clinical Director Tabor Group

road to recovery

Addiction is a chronic health condition and many in our society who are already disadvantaged in a variety of ways are more prone to becoming addicted.

We now know that those who have experienced events in childhood such as a parent’s addiction, a parent’s mental ill-health, poverty, a family member imprisonment or domestic violence are already disadvantaged.

To make matters worse the tendencies towards becoming dependent on mood altering chemicals is higher among this population as the substance misuse can be experienced as providing a cure for the pain caused by such experiences early in life.

We also know that there is a good chance that those attending for treatment will be dually diagnosed and will be contending with a mental health challenge as well as addiction. Again developing a dependent relationship on the substance is more likely as the person experiences the substance use as a support for the pain of the mental health challenge.

Tabor Group is seeking to confirm the direct connection between addiction and early life trauma and between addiction and mental health challenges. Tabor Group also wishes to determine how prevalent such connections are among those presenting to our services. A piece of research is currently nearing completion in partnership with University College Cork’s Department of Applied Psychology.

Given this situation many addicted persons are in a difficult dilemma. Many burn their bridges with their family and are uncared for. Many descend through the tiers of our society and come close to homelessness and dependence on State supports.

There is insufficient recognition given to the dilemma of the addicted person in our society at this time. Addiction Treatment agencies are underfunded and the treatment infrastructure in our society is not properly resourced.

Tabor Group’s care for the addicted person must include advocating for the needs of such people to be prioritised. Such is the stigma associated with addiction in our society the addicted person and their family are not likely to make a strong claim for proper treatment services. The shame of being in an addicted family renders the family silent.

If an agency is involved in the care of any disadvantaged, minority group whose needs are not adequately provided for it must be guided by value of social justice in order to truly advocate for its client. The values of care and justice are inextricably entwined for such agencies.

Mick Devine

Clinical Director

Tabor Group

Tabor Group is a leading provider of residential addiction treatment services in Ireland. We provide support and care to hundreds of clients each year suffering from addictions to alcohol, substances, gambling and food. Tabor Group offers hope, healing and recovery to addicted people and their families through integrated and caring services.

For more information on Tabor Group’s services click here