Activities in the field of prevention and support in the problem of alcohol addiction taken by social assistance in Poland


Background: Addiction to alcohol, reasons and effects of this phenomenon are a constantly-on-going problem both in Poland and in the world. According to PARPA (Polish Agency for Solving Alcohol Related Problems), in Poland in 2017, a consumption of 100% alcohol is 9.45 l per capita (spirits 3.3 l, wines and meads 6.1 l and beer 98.5 l). The negative effects of addiction affect the addict himself (in the sphere of his physical, mental and social functioning), but also his relatives. The life of the whole family is disorganized, its individual functions are disturbed. The basic economic and emotional needs of individuals remain unsatisfied, the negligence and acts of violence appear.

Issues: The aim of the study is to show the importance of activities of social assistance entities in Poland in the diagnosis of the problem of addiction in the family, support families of addicts, initiate procedures aimed at extending treatment and therapy, organizing specialist psychological and legal counseling and therapy for addicts and their relatives , cooperation with the alcohol problem solving committee, family court and probation officers.

Discussion : activities aimed at counteracting the negative impact of alcohol addiction on the functioning of the individual and society and support of addicts and their families are interdisciplinary. They are run by the Polish state on the basis of various legal acts, including the act of October 26, 1982. about upbringing in sobriety and counteracting alcoholism (ie, Journal of Laws of 2018 item 2137), Act of 12 March 2004 on social assistance (ie, Journal of Laws of 2018 item 1508, as amended) , acts of 9 June 2011 on supporting the family and the foster care system (ie, Journal of Laws of 2018, item 998), the Act of July 29, 2005 on counteracting domestic violence (i.e., Journal of Laws of 2015, item 1390).

The support system of an addicted person and her family are co-operated by various institutions. An important role in preventive and support activities is played by units of the social assistance system (municipal social assistance centers, communal social assistance centers). They undertake activities related to diagnosing the problem of addiction in the family, organizing help for addicts and their families (material help, specialist psychological, legal and family counseling and therapy for addicts and their relatives, cooperating with the commission for solving alcohol problems, family court and probation officers initiate therapeutic and therapeutic actions).

Conclusions: Assistance given to an addict and his family is multi-faceted and often long-lasting. Its effectiveness depends on the use of means and methods of support appropriate for diagnosed individual needs of a addict and its family. Very important is a social work is with an addicted person and his family, counseling, cooperation with a family assistant. These activities should aim at arousing the will to change the situation and to make an effort to overcome difficulties by using the potential of the individual.


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