Health experts launch campaign ‘Prescription for De-addiction’

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Doctor Against Addiction

In an effort to stop the various forms of rising addictions causing disruption in family and personal lives, a group of public health experts have launched a campaign for doctors to intervene the patients at the initial stage. The campaign seeks to empower doctors to play an active role in reducing various forms of addictions by intervening as early as possible at the consultation level.

The campaign has been launched under the banner Doctor Against Addiction (DaAD) called ‘A Prescription for Deaddiction’. “At the heart of the campaign lies a powerful symbol – “HRx.” This symbol represents a prescription for harm reduction, a commitment by doctors to address the harm caused by addiction and harmful behaviours. It serves as a beacon of hope and change. Often, doctors routinely check height, weight, BP and sugar levels. Now they are being trained to identify classical symptoms of addictions of various forms,” says Dr Manish Sharma, Chief Coordinator, Doctor against addiction (DaAD). The “HRx” symbol allows doctors to specify the form of addiction or harmful behaviour they aim to address.

Dr Narender Saini, Ex General Secretary of Indian Medical Association, said, “Beyond physical harm, excessive behaviours can wreak havoc on mental well-being leading to anxiety, depression, and a diminished sense of self-worth. Alcohol and drug abuse can lead to altered mood states, cognitive impairment, and exacerbation of pre-existing mental health conditions. However, by approaching the conversation without judgment, healthcare professionals can make patients feel respected and understood. Consistent monitoring reinforces the doctor-patient partnership.

DaAD is a step forward in this direction, to help patients achieve their deaddiction goals. Doctors are now being trained to patiently listen and ask open-ended questions in an effort to identify the type of addiction and reduce the stigma surrounding it through compassionate and tailor-made dialogue, said Dr Chhavi Gupta, DM – Infectious Disease, at Yashoda Super-specialty Hospital. She said DaAD is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It is a personalized approach, adapting strategies to individual patient needs for effective interventions.