A two day workshop on ‘Substance dependence and drugs and alcohol awareness’ program by the ‘Centre for Holistic Healing’ was organization with the ‘Healthy Lanka’,  a nonprofit making organization  mainly for the students of the Diploma in Counslling of the CHH and the public whoever wanted to join in . The vision of the Healthy Lanka is A world in peace and without poverty, where all are secured with Human Rights, Social Justice, where alcohol and drugs do not prevent people’s well being, and fulfillment, of human Potential’.  The aim of the Centre for Holistic Healing reflects almost the same aim in which it is mainly focused on ‘to build a just, participatory and sustainable society with a preferential option for the poor’. The mission of the Centre for Holistic Healing is “…to help the survivors of trauma to get healed. The process of being restored includes bodily wholeness, emotional well-being, mental-functioning and spiritual aliveness. Healing also refers to the process of reconciling broken human relationships and to the development of a just social and political order among people in Sri Lanka…’

One of the main units of the Diploma in counseling is substance abuse related to trauma. The workshop on substance abuse and alcohol was very useful for students to understand the basic knowledge of trauma and one of its outcomes as drug and alcohol dependence. Mr. Theivendran Uthayaruban, the programme coordinator of Colombo for ‘Healthy Lanka’ led the two day interesting sessions for the students.

Besides the basic knowledge of substance abuse and prevention of alcoholism was the fact that touched the students is the attitude the public should adapt towards those who are addicted to substance. Stigmatizing should be avoided and anyone should be respected with due self esteem as they are victims and our duty is to help them come out of it.   It was reiterated that mostly the trauma of any nature, helplessness, push the clients towards dependency on drugs and alcohol. This could be applicable to those who deal with the clients, who could also have chances of hitting the ‘rock bottom’ as they too become victims if they over work showing empathy to the clients or pushed to face stress and disasters most of their life time.

The programme included lectures, group discussion, power presentation etc. Mr. Prem, one of our students who is working in ‘Healthy Lanka’ coordinated the event. Ms. Kiruthika, the assistant coordinator of CHH was present throughout the workshop. We sincerely  thank  “Healthy Lanka’ for their useful contribution towards this important topic.

Dr. Thaya Thiagarajah

Director, CHH