Doctors launch ‘A Prescription for Deaddiction’ campaign to combat addiction

Doctors Against Addiction (DaAD) empowers healthcare professionals to intervene early and address various forms of addiction through a holistic approach

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New Delhi: With the rise in various forms of addiction causing significant personal and societal harm, Doctors Against Addiction (DaAD) has launched a comprehensive campaign titled ‘A Prescription for Deaddiction’.
This initiative aims to empower doctors to actively intervene and address addiction during patient consultations. It envisions addressing addiction holistically, aiming to remove stigmas and mainstream affected individuals. 
“At the heart of the campaign lies a powerful symbol – ‘HRx,’” explained Dr. Manish Sharma, Chief Coordinator of Doctors Against Addiction. “This symbol represents a prescription for harm reduction, a commitment by doctors to tackle the detrimental effects of addiction and harmful behaviors. It serves as a beacon of hope and change. ‘A Prescription for Deaddiction’ is not just a campaign; it’s a call for action.”
The ‘HRx’ symbol allows doctors to specify the form of addiction or harmful behavior they aim to address, encouraging early identification and intervention. The campaign trains doctors to recognize classical symptoms of various addictions, going beyond the routine checks of height, weight, blood pressure, and sugar levels.
The necessity for this campaign stems from the increasing prevalence of addictions ranging from gadgets and alcohol to drugs and tobacco. These addictions not only cause personal distress but also lead to a rise in accidents and crime rates. This stresses the crucial role healthcare professionals play in combating addiction and promoting healthier lifestyles, given their close connection with patients.
Dr. Chhavi Gupta, a senior consultant at Yashoda Super-specialty Hospital, emphasized, “The foundation of any fruitful doctor-patient relationship is trust. This is achieved when patients feel comfortable sharing their concerns, even when those of trust and non-judgment, healthcare professionals can empower patients to open up and seek help. During these conversations, they can effectively counsel patients on deaddiction.”
The campaign stresses that ‘A Prescription for Deaddiction’ is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It tailors strategies to individual patient needs, emphasizing the importance of involving patients in setting their deaddiction goals. Doctors are now being trained to listen patiently and ask open-ended questions to identify the type of addiction. This personalized approach involves setting deaddiction goals with the patient and maintaining regular follow-ups to monitor progress.
“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. Consistent monitoring reinforces the doctor-patient partnership. A Doctors Against Addiction (DaAD) is a step forward in this direction, to help patients achieve their deaddiction goals,” noted Dr Narender Saini, Former General Secretary of the Indian Medical Association (IMA).