Drug Rehabilitation for Drug Dependent Commercial Sex Workers


Addiction, as simple as it sounds is a form of mental illness that can be life threatening. This condition is central to the cruel cycle that mostly exists in the commercial sex world. Some people in the sex trade were introduced into drugs in the first instance; they start off and eventually get addicted to it. Consequently, they go into commercial sex trade commonly known as ‘prostitution’ in order to get quick money to fund their drug habits. Another circumstance points towards the fact that some get into the sex trade either blindly or consciously. They resort to drug use so as to cope with the nasty environment and numb feelings; they eventually get addicted.

An addicted person does not believe that it is possible to have a satisfying, happy life without the use of narcotics; they are totally dependent on the drugs. Three factors define this form of dependence:

Withdrawal: Addiction is a complex psycho-chemical problem. A person with an addiction experiences cravings that persist even in the face of extremely negative consequences. During a craving, a person with an addiction misses the habit-forming drug terribly, and often he or she experiences symptoms of withdrawal such as: abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, drenching sweats, nervousness and shaking, seizures, or death.

Tolerance: At the initial stage, a specific dose of the habit-forming drug gives the desired “high” and as time progresses, the number of doses required to attain this desired “high” also increases and in turn more and more money will be required to increase the doses.

Reinstatement after withdrawal: Most commercial sex workers have a record of having stopped the habit and then started again. They get back into the habit due to withdrawal symptoms or other external factors and once this is the case they don’t start from the initial dose required to get them “high” but from where they left off.



A number of existing interventions aimed at empowering commercial sex workers in order to get off the streets exists but at the end of the day, most individuals in the commercial sex trade may decide to get involved in these empowerment programs but still can't help but go back to alternative means to feed their addiction.  

Reconnect HDI is concerned with the mental health of these individuals; the vicious cycle needs to be broken in order for existing interventions to be as effective as should be. This program provides drug rehabilitation and support services for commercial sex workers.

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