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Addiction is a psychiatric disorder (Part 2)

Dr Boima


Last week we discussed different criteria used to characterize addictive disorders like substance addiction, gambling and sexual addiction as listed in the DSM – 5. And as mentioned, addiction is a chronic illness with episodes of relapse and remission and for proper stabilization, long-term treatment and rehabilitation tailored around that individual is needed. Treatment ranges from psychological interventions to medications.

Usually addiction has detrimental effects not only on the concerned individual but also to people surrounding them, so by all means partners, family members, or friends should be involved in the treatment plan of the patients. A multidisciplinary team consisting of specialist doctors, medical officers, nurses, psychologists, support groups etc. is usually involved in the care of such a patient.

Though addiction medicine is not the most popular in Botswana (it’s believed to be westernized), we see a lot of people who fit the criteria for addictions, yet they are just roaming the streets and not seeking medical help; partly because they are not aware it is a problem or they have just lost hope.

Relatives should be wary of this and encourage/or take these individuals to the nearest hospital or psychiatric unit for assessment and treatment. The following is a stepwise approach to management of addictions.

Step 1: Admit to the problem

For many people struggling with addiction, the biggest and toughest step towards recovery is the very first one; admitting to having a problem. In some cases, this acknowledgement results from conversations with family members, friends or co-workers; but in other instances, it may only occur after the addiction has led to health, financial, work, or legal problems.

Step 2: Decide to make a change

It is normal to be hesitant about giving up a certain addiction, even when one realizes it is causing problems in their life. Fair enough, change is not easy! Recovering from an addiction is a long process; it certainly requires time, commitment, motivation, and support. This is a stage in which addicts make the important transition from acknowledgement to action.

Step 3: Explore treatment options

Once a decision has been made to challenge the addiction, it’s time to explore the treatment choices. Patients need to keep in mind that there is no treatment that is right for everybody. Most success will come when treatment plan is tailored around their needs. Treatment may include that of any other medical or psychological issues that the patient is experiencing hence a multi-disciplinary team approach. Once the treatment plan has been drawn, commitment is vital!

Step 4: Finding support

It is almost impossible to undergo the treatment of addiction alone. Whatever treatment approach the patient chooses, having a solid support system is essential. The more positive influences one have in their life, the better the chances for recovery. Recovering from drug addiction isn’t easy, but with people that a patient can turn to for encouragement, guidance, and a listening ear, it’s a little less tough.

Step 5: Treatment

Medications and behavioral therapy, especially when combined, are important elements of an overall therapeutic process that often begins with detoxification, followed by treatment and relapse prevention. Detoxification, the process by which the body clears itself of the addictive substance/behavior, is designed to manage the acute and potentially dangerous physiological effects (withdrawal symptoms) of stopping an addiction.

Some people think of detoxification as the main treatment, but alone detoxification does not address the psychological, social, and behavioral problems associated with addiction and therefore does not typically produce lasting behavioral changes necessary for recovery.

Detoxification should thus be followed by an intensive rehabilitation program in a specialized center. Ongoing behavioral therapy, serial counseling sessions, group sessions and medications can all be used to diminish cravings and keep the addiction away. This can be done as an inpatient or outpatient.

Step 6: Recovery

Early recovery may come with its own vulnerability. The addicts are technically abandoning people, activities, and behaviors that have been significant parts of their lives while establishing the foundation of their new lives. Relapse is very common during early recovery. Some of the most important tips during this stage are; developing new coping skills, hobbies, hang-out spots, healthy habits and rebuilding old (before addiction) or damaged relationships.

Step 7: Maintenance

By the time patients reach this stage, they have completed a great deal of work and made great progress. Perhaps most importantly, they have also learned that they will need to continue to work hard for the rest of their lives to guard against relapse.

This will require active monitoring of their thoughts and behaviors, ongoing practice of new skills, maintaining a support system, and staying alert to triggers and temptations. Although recovery is never easy, by this stage, patients have begun to live lives they could scarcely have imagined at the start of the journey.

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Self-taught fashion designer speaks

26th July 2022

A job, lucrative or not, is a job after all. Sometimes one has to compromise in order to make a living, few people get a job their dream jobs. But once in a while there is an emergence of people who listen to their inner calling to pursue their passion.

The founder and head designer of Butterfly Couture, Chawa July is one of those few people who left their job to pursue their passion. An inspiring fact about July is that she is a self-taught fashion designer, she used to copy patterns from her old clothes until she learnt how to draw them, and she also searched information from the internet to increase her knowledge and skills.

“It all started as a hobby from my love for beautiful dresses and I started adjusting and making clothes for myself. Gradually people around me started to take interest in my craft and the hobby slowly grew into a profitable business,” July said.

The 41 year fashion designer from Molepolole worked her way up in the Procurement space for over 10 years. She worked at Stanbic Bank, Kromberg & Schubert and Clover Dairy as a Procurement supervisor. Her last job before she entered the fashion industry was a Manager for Contacts & Sourcing at a Facilities Management Company.

She established her fashion house in October 2019 and it has become synonyms with elegant wedding gowns and exquisite evening wear. July said when designing she is inspired by various aspects such as the client’s personality, the mood of the event and the theme. She further mentioned that every opportunity is to show her craft so she always aims to please.

“Every Butterfly Couture piece must represent the elegance and the creativity the brand is about,” she said. Butterfly Couture has adorned beauty queens; Miss Botswana 2021/2022 Ambrociah Samboko at Miss Universe in South Korea and Miss Botswana 2019,Oweditse Fafah Phirinyane during her reign of which is the highlight of her career. They have also marked their presence in a few fashion events locally and in the neighbouring countries.”

They showcased at The Grand Palm Wedding Expo, Masa Fashion Show, Miss Botswana Fashion Show and Sacunda plus Size Fashion Show. The will also be showcasing at Gabs July Fashion Show on the 15th of July alongside the South African designer, popularly known as the King of glamour David Tlale.

July also identified that one of the challenges they face in the couture is that, it’s a seasonal business. “There are times in the year when the business is great and challenging. Winter in particular, is difficult time to stay afloat as there aren’t as many events that people are inspired to dress spectacularly for,” she said. She further said that her aim is to be a prime couturier of choice in Botswana.

“Craft like your life depends on it because every happy client is 10 more referrals” is what she said when asked to serve a word of wisdom to people hoping to make it in the fashion industry.

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Gospel awards re-organised

26th July 2022

The Botswana Gospel Music Awards (BOGMA) and the Annual Gospel Awards (AGA) are said to be no longer in existence and a joint venture project has been put up that will carry out the awarding of gospel musicians.

The new entity has been established as Gospel Music Awards, which is a project at this moment is nearer to dishing out the first Gospel Awards under the leadership of the dissolved entities (BOGMA and AGA). “The difference is the same, it is just that the two projects were run by different minds which had differing objectives,” said the project coordinator, Letsweletse Moshabi when asked what the difference was between the two previous awards.

He added that at this junction their focus is on the future of the gospel musicians and they would like to direct their energies to the new project and forgo the past projects. “The Music market especially the gospel genre is too small and that basically means the very small market was experiencing the imbalance in the supply and demand forces. At that stage, supply was more than the demand so the reason for the joint forces is to allow the supply and demand forces to readjust and form equilibrium,” added Moshabi.

The mandate and objectives of the project are to recognize and award gospel music talent, to create awareness of the Botswana gospel music industry and to create a platform where fellow musicians may exchange ideas and network amongst themselves and approach international markets in cohesion.

The first of these joint awards will be held on the 27th August 2022 at Molapo Showcase under the theme ‘Cohesiveness to Build’ where about 18 categories will be up for grabs.

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Makhadzi, Master KG invade Thamaga

18th July 2022

The Kumnandi Ekhaya musik festival will be held on the 30th September 2022 at Thamaga village. The event coincides with the release of famous host, Dj Ngwazi’s first album called ‘spring day’ on the 2nd of September 2022.

The Thamaga born and raised Lefika Lushen Kebatlege is a disc jockey and a music producer signed under WanitwaMos Entertainment in South Africa. Famously known as Dj Ngwazi and formally known as DJ superstar, he has really worked hard to become one of the finest export DJs the country has produced. Internationally, he is described as a DJ from South African because of his works with popular music artist Master KG.

Meanwhile, the music festival will feature South African artists, Makhazi, Master KG, Prince Benza and Mthunzi. They will also be joined by some of the big local artists, Franco, Vee Mampeezy, among others.  “The tickets of the concert will be available at Spar stores, webticket and Kings bar. There will be three categories for VIP tickets, the one that goes for P1000, P1500 and P2200,” said the Kumnandi Ekhaya musik fest promoter Sadie Swartz of Saysay Entertainment.

“We have a new system to tackle the cry of promoters about security at the events. We will have a team of 100 security men, 10 horses and 15 dogs. We also agreed with the police to help with traffic control and no tickets will be sold at the gate to avoid circulation of money which can attract thieves,” said Kagiso Gaodumelwe from All Night Security.

“I started deejaying back in the days when I was still schooling at Kagiso Senior School and I never stopped working towards my career since then. I have a career in South Africa, since 2018 when Master KG took me in and his support as a brother has taken me to places,” said DJ Ngwazi describing his career journey.

“Kumnandi Ekhaya is Zulu language which means ‘go monate ko gae’ in Setswana. The name came about as a way of inviting my South African fans and supporters to my home village Thamaga to come experience the joy that comes with celebrating our freedom and independence. I used isiZulu because it’s the dominant language in South Africa,” explained Dj Ngwazi.

“The concert will be held in an open space which was used for agricultural purposes and we would like to call it ‘Ko Legoleng’. With this concert I want to redeem the dignity of our village because we once had the cases of youth who were terrorizing the community, beating up people in the streets and stealing and these was really a concern in our community because they were tarnishing the village name,” said Dj Ngwazi.

The purpose of this concert is to empower the community of Thamaga and local artist, more especially artist from Thamaga village like, Kgabo Sereto traditional group. There will be a litter picking campaign around the village before the launch of the concert .The sponsors which are already on board are Dladleng Entertainment and Kings bar and there are still more sponsors to be revealed.

”As the Kumnandi Ekhaya musik fest management, we are going to buy food combos and take them to Thamaga village Kgotla so they can be donated to the less privileged and orphans. Starting from October we will be donating pads to all Junior Schools in Thamaga,” said Dj Ngwazi. Dj Ngwazi’s motivational words to other artist and everyone else; work hard, be patient and be determined.

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