Post treatment engagement with patients vital

(From left) Kuching District Officer Awang Yusup Awang Mostapha, LPPKN Director Shahriah Saharom and Head of AADK Kuching District Sharifah Azimah Said Ismail (fourth right) flagging off the Home visit programme to houses od AADK and LPPKN clients. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: Strong engagement with patients after a completed treatment is vital in preventing a relapse.

In pointing this out, National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) Sarawak director Shahriah Saharom said a follow-up programme with patient’s aftercare would foster a sense of acceptance and belonging for the patient to continue fighting for a total recovery.

“This My Therapeutic programme is a post-rehab programme that provides assistance for patients coming from low-income family. The programme is organised in three phases; firstly, with patients, secondly with their family and lastly, programme with the community, namely the support group,” she told reporters when met before the start of the Family LPPKN 2020 event at Sarawak National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK) office here in Jalan Tan Sri Ong Kee Hui on Sunday (Dec 20).

Stressing patient’s family plays an even more important role during post-rehab stage of recovery, she said the collaboration with AADK was essential to address social stigma.

“The aftercare period is lasting longer than the initial treatment programme which needs the family and community to welcome them back, and not to shame them.

“A targeted counselling session programme by using psychoeducation approach including family therapy, and social behaviour cognitive therapy is essential to a patient’s aftercare, she added, reiterating that it must be balanced with practical recovery needs, such as a controlled living environment, managing the psychological and social triggers of relapse into drug use, rebuilding relationships and access to jobs.

Shahriah also said the campaign between LPPKN, AADK Sarawak and Sarawak Social Welfare Department was also aimed to clarify the misconception of AADK role.

“The programme was to be assisted to help them overcome their drug abuse problems,” she added.

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