By Anne Das
Admitting that you, or someone you care about has an alcohol or drug addiction problem is not easy. How do you know when drinking or drugs have gotten out of hand? The answer varies, but generally, if the usage of alcohol or drugs interferes with family and social life, work, health, emotional stability —it is a problem. Addiction affects individuals from all walks of life. And tragically, it impacts family, friends, and co-workers of each dependent person. It is a disease that cannot be helped by will power alone—it must be treated.
Just as cardiovascular disease damages the heart and diabetes impairs the pancreas, addiction hijacks the brain. From cravings to memory loss, people can experience numerous mental health effects from addiction, including: intense craving for the substance, depression and anxiety, aggression, and paranoia. It is important to recognize that addiction is a disease, not a choice. Just like with any disease, getting the right treatment is vital to recovery.
As a member of University Malaya Centre of Addiction Sciences, Clinic AG Kasih, Meru here in Ipoh, it is useful to know that it provides a friendly yet professional team approach to the evaluation and treatment of dependency. They give clinical care and support to people and families affected by addiction, including those seeking help for the first time.
Speaking with Resident Doctor, Dr. Preemnath Tharmalingam (M.D. KSMU Russia, Fellowship in Addiction Medicine U.M. Centre of Addiction Sciences, Malaysia) “There is no age specification for drug abuse; it could happen to adolescents, middle-aged, or old people. My patients vary from as young as 15 years to 70 years of age.’
‘We treat all types of addictions from Opiates: Morphine, Fentanyl, Tramadol, Codeine (cough syrup), Weed, Pethedine. Also stimulant types such as Methamphetamine, Amphetamine, Syabu, Cocaine, Alcohol, Cigarettes and even Kratom (Ketum).’
‘Currently we have around 30 patients on regular medication. They vary from Opiate, Alcohol, Kratom and Smoking addiction and the most abused substance currently is Ice (Crystal Methamphetamine), Kratom and Smoking or Vaping with nicotine’.
‘Our aim in treating addiction is like treating diabetes or hypertension, you need to be a functioning member of society whilst taking medication. But if the patient has poor social support or unable to cope with treatment and work, then we will recommend rehab’.
‘The awareness for addiction treatment is very low among our population but with the right guidance, proper support and medications they can be brought back to the right path.’
For those who want to quit a substance but have no idea how, can call them for a free consultation and counselling in relation to the addiction. They do not charge for this service and their records are confidential.
It is advised to call/WhatsApp Clinic AG Kasih, Meru at 05-5263388 /0136222505 to make an appointment. Opens every day 8am-10pm including Sundays and public holidays. Alternatively, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.