Kateřina Marklová, professional director of the NEO Center

The so-called dry February is over. Have you also tried it and did a monthly detox from everything? And did it work?

Our professional director, clinical psychologist and director of Clinic 1, Kateřina, commented on this idea.

For the umpteenth year now, I've had mixed feelings about promoting alcohol-free February. It is undoubtedly a godly campaign, and my reflection would certainly not like to question the usefulness of this action. At the same time, however, I am wondering how important regular campaigns aimed at the riskiness of addictive behavior in its entire breadth would be, whether it is overuse of psychoactive substances or non-substance addictions, which are growing rapidly, especially among the youngest generation.

In clinical practice, I am increasingly concerned about the increasing misuse of drugs. These are prescription drugs, but used outside of medical advice. I most often encounter drug abuse as a result of self-medication for psychological, but also somatic, problems (anxiety-depressive problems, sleep disorders, traumatic events in life or inappropriately treated somatic problems). The former benzodiazepine and barbiturate preference is in decline.

There has been a long-term increase in the abuse of 3rd generation hypnotics, which came on the market as supposedly non-addictive drugs for sleep disorders. These are mainly popular drugs such as Stilnox, Hypnogen, Sanval, Zolpidem Mylan, referred to in the professional public as Z - hypnotics based on the active substance zolpidem, zopiclone and zaleplon. Another significantly increasing abused substance is pregabalin, used as an anti-epileptic and sedative, known under the brand name Lyrica. Opioid analgesics are a constant on the market, but there is also an increasing trend for them. These substances are known under the trade name Tramal, Doreta, Zaldiar (active substance tramadol) or Dolsin (active substance pethidine).

Drug abuse is related to their still relatively frequent prescription from doctors. Yes, here I have to tell our health professionals that drugs with an addictive potential are still being prescribed in large quantities and, unfortunately, many times without sufficient education of patients about the risks of long-term use. Another factor supporting their abuse is their easy availability on the black market, it is not a problem to order large quantities of these drugs from the other side of the world. Unfortunately, their illegal distribution is not so closely monitored by anti-drug units. And the last important factor is the long-term tolerant attitude of the Czech population towards the use of psychoactive drugs. In the past, people used to take a shot to "endure" a difficult situation or bad news. Nowadays, it is more acceptable to pop a pill, especially so that the unpleasant feelings go away quickly.

These considerations lead me to the need to point out the need for a systematic informative campaign for professionals as well as the general public about the ineffectiveness of shortcuts, when we are promised the possibility not to feel, not to experience and most importantly quickly, without work. After all, the richness and color of life is precisely in the variety of emotions experienced, thanks to fully experienced sadness we can fully enjoy feelings of joy, which is supported by gratitude. Under the influence of chemical shortcuts, the color of life fades.

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