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Pseudo- Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers is Covering Activities of Destructive Cults Версия для печати Отправить на e-mail
04.03.2008

The member of Ukrainian association of psychiatrists, head of the Drug Abuse Department in Cherkasy Regional Mental Hospital named in honor of Mr. Pavloff

Recently some mass media talk about the so-called rehabilitation centers of neo- charismatic religious organizations for the so-called "treating of drug abuse." Incompetence of these organizations and spreading this lie through the media try to convince me (a medical doctor with more than 25 years of practical experience in psychiatry) that if these rehabilitation centers are really that good, let us close all hospitals for drug abusers, stop training of the experts, stop production of medications, and stop purchasing of expensive diagnostic equipment and let us invest all saved in this may money into development of neo- charismatic organizations who try to convince us and the whole society that they can deal with very serious problem of mankind which is recreational drug abuse.
This problem is extremely complex and important indeed. Ukraine as well as other countries of the former Soviet Union is among the world leaders in growth of the number of drug abusers and infected with HIV people (HIV positive). The official number of 70 thousands of drug abusers does not reflect all the truth about this terrible disease of our society. The estimate of Ukrainian Ministry of Health the number of drug abusers in Ukraine is more than 200 thousands and according to the international experts this number is approximately one million. If we take into account that fact that every drug abuser makes 7 other people drug abuser during one year, the scale of this tragedy is horrific. Majority of drug abusers are teenagers (more than 60%) and 13% of drug abusers are children between 12 and 13 years of age. During the last three years the number of diseases among teenagers who are drug abusers had grown 6 times and the death rate had grown 4 times. The average life duration of a drug abuser after starting taking recreational drugs is 7 to 10 years. Here are more horrible numbers: 436 thousands which is 1 percent of the whole Ukrainian population are HIV positive, 73 percent of them are injection drug abusers. Smoking of hashish (marihuana) cannot be even assessed, albeit these smokers are potential consumers of heavy drugs. Due to the fact that in our country there is a free sale of some medications, there is a stable growth of number of toxic drug abusers. Among medications to reduce body temperature 20 to 30 percent can be used by toxic drug abusers. Let us think how easy it is to heal a person who had become a drug abuser? In all text books for the students in psychology and medical doctors in psychiatry it is clearly stated that the most critical time for the repetition of drug abuse is 5 to 6 week after overcoming coopering abstention. During this period the drug abusers develop depressive disorders and they are likely to go back to drug abuse. During this period the patients are the easiest to manipulate and to be subjected to the mind control. This is the best period for medical treatment and for recruiting to cuts under the cover of the so-called "rehabilitation centers." The essence of rehabilitation of a drug abuser is her/his socialization into normal psychological and social life in the society. This is very complex and long process, which consists of partially intersecting stages, which are repeated again and again until the patient does not need help of qualified professionals. These stages include objective assessments psycho- pathological picture of a drug abuser, working out a plan of rehabilitation, gradual restoration of socially productive functioning at the maximum possible level using methods of learning skills and different types of support by the people around.
I will repeat again: this is extremely complex, and sometimes long, process which is not feasible without participation of professional medical doctors, healthy social structures, the Church, the whole government as guarantee of acceptance of a rehabilitated person back to the society. In some countries there is experience of such interaction, for example, Orthodox Church which has huge spiritual potential cooperates with medical organizations, non- governmental organizations (NGOs) which deal with rehabilitation of drug abusers. Some priests have higher medical education and even Ph.D., combining their professional knowledge of a medical doctor with experience of spiritual renaissance of a personality. In that sense Russian Center for Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers deserves the best words. The chief of staff of this center is Professor of Medicine Monk Anatoly (Berestoff.) We in Ukraine should try to create similar centers.
What do rehabilitation centers created by Ukrainian neo- charismatic cults offer? I have to communicate constantly with people who had gone through these centers. Many of them after such "rehabilitation" did not stop taking recreational drugs, moreover, started taking recreational drugs more actively. If the person was drug dependent, then after coming to such "centers" she/he becomes dependent on cult: she/he becomes a slave of this cult; she/he loses her/his will power and initiative.
A cult completely suppresses will power of a human, ability or critical thinking, isolates her/him from mass media, and exerts psychological violence. The people there who try to rehabilitate drug abusers often do not have even basic medical knowledge and skills. All “rehabilitation” is based on strict following the will of the “healer”, reading the Bible and artificial subjecting the patient to the special psychological states, called trance, when a drug abuser is “suddenly” supposedly lights up with “getting to know the truth”, she/she starts to show unusual spiritual talents, in particular, gift “speaking Angels tongs,” indescribable “spiritual delight” , “visions”, similar to the thrill which any drug abuser experiences. Margins between obedience and humbleness which are preached by, foe example, Orthodox Church and religious fanaticism in a cut become absolutely blur. Everything is black- and- white.
It is necessary to say about dangerous type of medical assistance which recently is promoted and imposed to the public, including recreational drug dependent people, which is private computer diagnostics. This is diagnostics of diseases using ordinary personal computer. For an ignorant average citizen a computer has almost magic influence. If a smart looking person wearing white smock is sitting near the monitor and reading “medical assessment” printed out by the program, this effect is just stunning. Why do we need doctors? Why do we need medical establishments? Why do one needs diagnoses? Here the computer itself gives the diagnosis!! However, the program gives quire averaged data regarding diseases for each age group. It is stressed that these illnesses are identified at the pre-clinical stage, that is, there is no sickness yet but there is a diagnosis. It is sad to say but Ukrainian Ministry of Health gives the “green light” for this blatant charlatanry, basically equalizing a medical doctor and often a nurse who took 1- 12 weeks course in “computer diagnostics” and given corresponding “license.” Computer gives list of up to ten diagnoses where there can be absolutely horrible “forecasts” for cancers. Being given such a “diagnosis,” a person becomes desperate, especially if she/he is suggestible (by the way, easily suggestible people come to these centers more often.) In such state of mind it is possible to suggest anything to this human. For example, pay few hundred hryvnias for “magic medications,” which are in fact are dangerous food supplements produced in China, sold through networking marketing. In this state of mind a human may be recruited by any cult and this happens.
”Why do you need Orthodox Church? Everything is so boring there, just rituals. Come to us! We have fun, we enjoy communication with God and with each other! We have one holly family! We do need sadness!” the cults tell to such person and woman/man falls into trap of a dangerous cult where her/his will be broken, her/his personality will be taken away, and this person will become an obedient slave.
That is why work of the activists of “Dialog” center, which in Cherkasy province is linked to the program “Kryk” (“Scream” or “Cry”), which was started a year ago with support of the Member of Ukrainian Parliament Mr. Victor Timoshenko, is so important.
Without pushing towards religious hatred, not trying to force anybody to accept our opinion, uniting all healthy forces of our public, including traditional Christians and other groups, we try to inform the public about dangerous cults and their traps, explaining to the people about recreational drugs and consequences of drug abuse. We try to convince a kid that she/he will become an adult not when she/he starts taking recreational drugs under the influence of drug dealers but when she/he could make rational decision and refuse to take drugs. The same is true regarding rational thinking and courage to refuse too persistent invitations of attractive strangers and friends to join a totalitarian cult.
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