Dependent chemicals: treatment by pharmacological management and psychotherapy – Health

(photo: personal file)

“Choosing a theoretical model and respecting the individual’s uniqueness are the first steps in the therapeutic process”

Roselene Wagner, psychologist

In recent weeks, the case involving actor Srgio Hondjakoff, who faces problems with drug use, has had repercussions. In a video that has gone viral on social media, he even threatened his own father. The fact sheds light on this very complex phenomenon, inserted in a context of equal complexity, due to the number of variables that interfere with it and that, at the same time, are influenced by it.

According to psychologist Roselene Wagner, who specializes in various disorders, treatment should therefore be planned with many conditions in mind and aimed at achieving more positive outcomes for the dependent in question.

“Each individual has their own story. Choosing a theoretical model and respecting the uniqueness of the individual are the first steps in the therapeutic process. But you have to think that, in the artistic world, with all the demand in search of a celebrity, there is a greater need for attention concerning mental health, psychological support to face so much exposure, as well as rejection, frustration, or even obtaining a sudden, sometimes dazzling notoriety that does not sustain itself, even a constancy, which can lead to success, to fame”, he warned.

“Doctor Leninha”, as he is better called, says that the stage on which many manage to climb, with all the light and glory, does not always correspond to the difficult and sometimes dark backstage.

The treatment, in case of chemical dependency, again according to the specialist, requires observing the patient in his individuality, and the clinician who works in this field must not deviate from his main objective: to help the individual, to seek to modify the behaviors that facilitate the maintenance of addiction.


“For this, we need to use therapeutic tools that present evidence-based results. Among the main treatment approaches are pharmacological management, psychotherapeutic interventions, support offered in self-help groups (both for dependent people and for family members), integrated actions in voluntary and involuntary hospitalizations in specialized clinics, in assisted housing or in community therapies formed by lay people who know the problem and its management (nowadays with increasing specialization)”, he specifies.

For the specialist, experience shows that the combination of several approaches offers the patient personalized attention, attentive to what he needs most.

Substance use concepts

Leninha also emphasizes that a user of alcohol and/or other drugs must know how they use the substance. Not all abusers will become drug addicts. Harmful use can be just as dangerous as some cases of addiction, and occasional use can be even more dangerous.

“How can a young person who drinks heavily only on weekends and who drives drunk, for example, become a greater danger to himself and to society than a chronic alcoholic who does not drive?”, he wonders.

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It is important to know how the user of alcohol and other drugs uses substances (photo credit: pixabay)

According to her, the distinctions between consumption, abuse and dependence, although unclear, can be explained as follows:

Use: it would be a question of trying or consuming it sporadically or episodically, without harming this fact.

Abuse or Harmful Use: in abusive consumption, there is some kind of harmful consequence, whether social, psychological or biological.

Addiction : a loss of control over consumption occurs and the associated losses are more evident.

“This syndrome is organized in levels of severity and not as a categorical absolute: there is not a characteristic symptom, but a series of symptoms which consider their intensity along a continuum of severity”, adds- he.

She also mentions that the addiction syndrome is shaped by other influences capable of predisposing, potentiating or blocking its manifestations. In this case, the consumption pattern of individuals is shaped by a series of risk and protective factors, including individual, environmental, cultural, family, occupational, educational and social factors, in addition to the type of substance used.

For Leninha, chemical dependency is characterized by a pattern of compulsive consumption of psychoactive substances. “Knowing how to refuse, say no; Don’t lock yourself into your problems; Speak, ask for help; Take care of your sleep; Pay attention to your food; Play sports; Seek professional help whenever you need it.

“Chemical addiction is a behavioral disease, which means that if we remove the behavior, we also subtract the disease. But the ease with which the harmful habit of immediate (unreal) pleasure is acquired does not correspond to the difficulty of withdrawing from it and the significant and real losses produced in the long term”, he amended.

For the specialist, prevention is always smarter and cheaper than correction, through a long process of treatment and recovery.

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