Editorial Note #31

This issue of EXARTISEIS is yet another product of the very rich discussion around issues concerning important aspects of the consequences of drug addictions and drug addiction treatment. In the struggle of individuals for drug addiction treatment, for a second chance in life, the process of drug addiction treatment and social reintegration is a necessary and sufficient condition for personal development and reinforcement. This change process however includes many challenges, both for the individuals who make the effort and day by day invest a little bit more in their life, as well as for the systems and the structures themselves caring for their effectiveness. The challenges are numerous and there’s a demand for individualized approaches, taking into consideration all aspects of social reintegration and rehabilitation of this vulnerable and marginalized population.

The issue of training while in treatment has widely been discussed. In the past, both in this journal as well as in public dialogue, in many fora and conferences, researchers from Greece and abroad underline the value of training and education for the people attending a treatment program. The data are sufficient and at times compelling. However there’s still plenty to learn about the importance of training as a triggering lever for individuals to bring about change and transform their dysfunctional situation, like addiction, and, more importantly, prevent relapse during treatment.

In the section Drug Addiction in Greece a study presents the underestimated role of training in drug addiction treatment and prevention. The aim of the study is to investigate the importance of organized learning for drug addicted individuals as a means to change and evolve, to prevent relapse and alleviate social exclusion. What’s being investigated is whether training may act as a personal transformation process, as an extension of drug addiction treatment, based on the Transformative learning theory of Jack Mezirow. By capturing the experience of former drug addicts, it becomes evident that although their formal education (i.e. school) did not prevent them from becoming addicted, when given a second chance in the education system, they managed to gain the skills and knowledge to change their understanding of the world and themselves. Increasing self esteem and gaining a professional identity are factors contributing to stabilization, social inclusion, and relapse prevention.

The paper included in the section Treatment Perspectives focuses on the contribution of training and more specifically on the theory of transformation in the prevention of drug addiction. It is a study conducted with high school students who participated in a training program based on the “transformation of dysfunctional attitudes” method aiming at investigating the transformation of the dysfunctional attitudes of the participants with regards to the causes that led them to drug use as well as understanding the importance of protective and aggravating factors that may lead an adolescent to drug use. This research shows that this particular method may act as an effective training tool by trainers as well as prevention specialists.

You may also read a study about abuse on women and the correlation with drug addiction. The issue of abuse of women is an important social problem and an expression of gender related violence. The association between physical abuse and drug use is investigated through the analysis of case studies of women who have been abused, the perpetrators and their relationship with psychotropic drug use, as well as the contribution to violence. Another study also included in the section Drug Addiction in Greece focuses on the criminal justice system and on the perceptions of parents, juvenile addicted offenders, as to whether their involvement with the juvenile criminal justice system may influence the decision of an adolescent to participate in drug addiction treatment. The role of the criminal justice systems and the imposition of reform – treatment measures for the motivation of adolescents are addressed. This experiential study concludes that networking of the systems within the criminal justice system and treatment services as well as their collaboration may affect decisively the youth’s decision to stop drug use.

Enjoy your reading!

For the Editorial Group

Remos Armaos

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