Drug services: Duty of care Vs can of worms

An issue I would like to raise, and would appreciate comments on and hearing people’s experiences on, is an issue that’s plagued me for years. And has been skirted around and not even poked with a stick since first entering services 18 years ago. And this is men who have a been a victim of childhood sexual abuse.

Fortunately for me I have since found Specialist support when looking for a detox support worker.

You would think that as a result of my off the rails behaviour from being young (from running away from home/school to finally addicted to drugs) someone would have thought, “What is up with this boy/man?”

It was a question that nobody had ever asked whilst I was in services for nearly 20 years, “Are there any childhood abuse issues?”

It seems some, if not all, professionals are afraid to broach the subject – through taboo reasons or no confidence in their own skill base. Or not utilising the training they should have been given.
This issue was the main reason for my drug taking. I was trying to mask and cope with what had happened. I personally believe me taking drugs was the smartest move I ever made, to work out that if I self-medicated it suppressed my issues for a time. Whilst high or low, or mostly sideways, I didn’t have to deal with what had gone on.

I understand it wasn’t the healthiest way to deal with it, but it did stop me from committing suicide – a smart move on my part at the time. Talking therapies, and a skilled worker just doing his job he is payed for, I now know is the answer.

From my own personal experience I would say I have come into contact with more people who have the issue of being sexually abused when a child who are using drugs, than have not. And this seems to be the driving force behind a lot of people using and the misery that entails.

Maybe it should be a question on the comprehensive assessment form when someone first presents in services. Obviously it’s a sensitive subject and should be dealt with at one’s own pace. I just hope workers would have a bit more confidence in their own abilities and not shy away from this issue.

How can you possibly, as a worker, support someone who wants to stop using drugs if you don’t discuss, or approach, or signpost someone in the direction where they can get help? How can you offer treatment if you don’t deal with why they are using in the first place?

Surely this is basic, otherwise the whole care pathway and plan is a sham. Surely workers have a duty of care to support their clients as best they can?

Personally, lucky for me, I found a skilled worker with a set of balls. Since addressing this issue I’m well on the path to dealing with it and have stopped using since getting the correct support.

There are good skilled workers in the services that are competent in this area, but in my personal experience they are few and far between.


7 thoughts on “Drug services: Duty of care Vs can of worms

  1. What you say above is pretty much a mirror of my own drug use, im clean now thank god. It is an excellent point you make, i still have issues relating to abuse to deal with as i have always kept it hidden and no one ever bothered to ask, i did all the drugs under the sun with heroin being my fav it wasnt a counsellor who helped me get clean it was my son who found my works, knew what it was for and got pretty upset i have been clean since, the pain and horror of withdrawal and the thought of losing my sons love and resect have kept me clean, all the rehab, physc this and phsyc that no one ever put that to me, i now wish someone had because i know untill i deal with that my sobriety will be of the white kuckle kind, Looming large in the rearview. I watched a powerful youtube video which led me here and i think its the first time i have ever really thought that coming out from behind my mask and dealing with the shit might just be possible, i have been deluding myself that im doing ok, hiding away ashamed of myself i need to deal with this. So thanks for having the guts to make that video i hope someday i can get there.


  2. Thanks so much for sharing this! I really, God-honestly wonder: is CSA even on peoples radar? It certainly wasn’t on mine. Granted, Im not a trained professional or teacher (who should have some abuse recognition training) but still Im thinking the widespreadedness of CSA/CSE is just not known. In part because 95% of cases are never reported. But Im believing and hopeful that the more the word gets out, the more people working with kids or adults (with a genuine heart for the kids and adults) will pick up the signal.
    I’ll be checking two orgs here, one that is focused on helping kids blossom, another that does nature/survival/mental/physical endurance for aggressive or troubled kids and/or adults needing internal/mental strength, to see if they have a CSA flag. CSA specific training here is not something you can easily find, seems only for “professionals” at astronomical fees and I wonder if they are even up to date (read in one booklet that CSA involves sexual touch, but that totally misses abuse that has no touch e.g. being shown inappropriate pics as a kid, or having your pic taken).
    Anyway, I hope to change that by introducing the Little Warriors Prevent It workshop in NL.
    If anyone is insterested, free, 90min workshop available online for anyone, not just professionals, etc.
    Check info and trailer here: http://littlewarriors.ca/prevention/workshop/

    Love to you all, #KeepGoing!


  3. I’m in the USA. Nothing I know of here, so thank you for establishing SB. I’m nearly 50 and never spoken about my abuse. This is the first time I’ve even written about it. I’m scared my IP address will be traced and I’ll be outed.
    I won’t seek out help due to fear, but grateful for your service.


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