Drink and Drugs News DDN May 2019 | Page 6

TreaTmenT A question Existentialism can give us a fresh angle on addressing the debilitating void that follows addiction, suggests Lana Durjava T hrough years of interactions with compulsive drug users in a variety of different settings, I have noticed the recurring pattern of lack of direction and meaning. This has appeared to be a significant factor in both predisposing and perpetuating addictive behaviour, and is something that is not automatically eliminated when a person stops using drugs. Purpose deficit, so to speak, frequently persists through time, and it sometimes becomes even more pronounced once drug-free life is achieved. To help people attain long-term and personally fulfilling recovery, it is advisable for practitioners to be mindful of this shortfall, to understand how it relates to excessive drug use and to possess enough practical knowledge to be able to confidently deliver effective interventions. In order to do that, useful insights can be drawn from a field that is not necessarily the first go-to within substance use treatment – that of existential philosophy. 6 | drinkanddrugsnews | May 2019 www.drinkanddrugsnews.com