Giving up Mirna Šitum today, through the capital, we managed to find many interesting things. Although we wanted to hear her comment on the Supervisory Board's meeting, which she has been silent for days, we did not succeed. But, we know that something much more interesting and life is much more important. And by the way, we broke up one big crime.
Once addicted, always addicted! - The sentence we probably all occasionally hear at the Vrapče Psychiatric Hospital does not admit the truth. At a gathering dedicated to the struggle against addiction, many psychiatrists today, as well as criminals, municipal leaders, prevention associations and resocialization centers have been pointed out.
This is, however, prejudice, as they pointed out, which they once had, but against which they are now actively struggling. Addiction is a disease that is possible and completely cured, not just a cure.
Unfortunately, it is true that most addicts do not endure that cure, but it is encouraging because of the fact that they are doing so year after year.
Dirty and brave was such a story. As journalists we often attended press conferences where people had the need (or duty) to express their gratitude to anyone who helped them in something in life, and as it usually is about free advertising, we are instinctively as soon as it goes to leave a pencil .
We were expecting it this time when Vrapko's Vlado Jukic Psychiatric Hospital Director handed over the words of Dr. Ivan Celić, head of the Department for Dual Psychiatry (in fact, it was relatively recently discovered that more than a 50 per cent of schizophrenics had life and a problem with opiate dependence to be laic, we have to approach them twice).
We were the first to be confused when the co-worker thanked the doctor for having brought her in a coma state to the hospital. Then we were completely shocked when the same woman we were convinced was a psychiatrist and thanked the social worker who took her child. With his name and surname, looking at her in the hall, she had a smile on her face as if to thank her for giving her cakes. We have already thought that we entered the wrong room and that the patients were kidding.
But doctors Ćelić, Jukić and Mirna Šitum, sitting next to her at the main desk, looked at her as if she was quite clear about what she was saying.
He continued to list the doctors who helped her and her husband and who did not give up on them either when they left the hospital. They found her a temporary apartment and got her new clothes. They also sent it to seminars in a Catholic re-socialization center. And then she mentioned again the social worker who took her child. And she thanked her again.
But this time she had her first child and she returned. She also got her second child with her husband. She also thanked Mirna Šitum for securing the job.
Readers may be faster than this journalist, so they may have realized earlier that they are a former addict. Thanks to the program of the city's health office, she is working today in a hospital where she was once treated by helping addicts to get out of hell of various opiates. Looks bright, happy and proud. She was completely confused and we watched her for a long time trying to imagine her in the opium coma. We failed.
And now we are going to be a bit rude, but that's when we sit next to Zvonimir Sostar, another old politician, currently occupied by Andrija Štampar, head of Public Health Institute.
"This is supposed to have the balls," Sostar whispered to us as the applause fluttered.
And that fucking - we instinctively replied to him, but we just did not remember the better expression. We apologize for it and we will not be fine.
Only what we were not professional enough to write down all the names of those persistent people who helped her did not give up. Of her and thousands of others. But we will soon make up for it because we will, along with her privy, also release the video and confession. She wants to show that she is not the only one.
Croatia, believe you or not, among the first three countries in Europe for successful addiction treatment. And the space for progress has a boost.
The main problem is not in doctors, but in all of us.
Professor Mirna Šitum noted the worrying figure of the average age when heroin addicts take the heroin 16 years for the first time. The average age when this disease is recognized by 26 years.
So the environment does not even notice it for ten years. And it is the most difficult addiction that destroys man physically and mentally. If we do not recognize them amongst us for ten years, as with other addicts who can be much better and easier to conceal their inclination to opiates.
From blindness it is more dangerous just to prejudge how addicts can not cure completely and how they can not be successfully re-socialized. That is, all the speakers have pointed out, simply not the truth and that should be repeated. As far as this truth was concerned at first, it was difficult to accept. It was difficult for the doctors themselves, but like all the prejudices, and this can be broken only by education.
- I remember her beginnings in medicine. I worked in the Emergency Aid in Split, and as you all know, Split in the former Yugoslavia had the most drug addicts. They kept us comfortably in the coma and we were desperate because we thought they did not help. We also often had resistance to them because they were quite unpleasant when we revived them. And we knew how quickly he would come back to us. We even knew from them what sort of cargo the Split Shipment arrived in Split, how much the drug was clean or dirty, "said Mirna Šitum, pointing out that it is therefore extremely important to educate a doctor in family medicine that usually comes from addicts.
Now they have at least where to send them, and when Mirna Šitum worked in Urgent, that was not the case. The first addiction treatment facility in Vrapče is open only to 1997. year, and before that it was only treated in the Vineyards hospital. But for Doctor Sakoman no one already knows.
The Vrapč addiction treatment unit has 32 beds and they are all full. Although this department is funded from the Zagreb budget, it is cured of people from all over Croatia.
- And so it will continue because Zagreb is not just the center of Croatia. Zagreb is the heart of Croatia - Mirna Šitum said, announcing that the city's health care office will be headed to make sure that the heart goes home faster and stronger.
At a gathering on addiction in Vrapce, it was nice to see that at least Croatian psychiatrists, if not the rest of society, had solved the traditional Croatian lament.
- We have been arguing and arguing until recently that program helps and who does not. We have spent time discussing whether communes, various associations or resocialization centers are helping. I'm glad these discussions are less and less. At one gathering in the Močvara about the addiction where I was holding the lecture, so was the representative of those Komayi sects. He claimed that addiction can be cured by sex. When I asked him how much he was curing the addict, he answered two. I told him both of them were great. It is important that at least one person cures it - a psychiatrist has emphasized that in fighting addiction everyone should cooperate and how all methods should be used, but how unorthodox they are, if they are effective.
As we are politically dependent, we have decided to wait after the meeting of Mirna Šitum that besides her love for medicine, we are asking something about the Zagreb Holding. However, Ivan Ćelić is not only the Head of Department for Dual Psychology but also the Secretary-General of the Zagreb HDZ. So he sold us a double game.
He pulled us out on the Zagreb strudel, which is an addiction that is more harmless and much slower than drug or politics dependence. Although doctors say some other professionals say that the sugar is slowly killing. He did not kill us, but he smiled at us. While we talked about the rebalance of the Zagreb budget, and some of the new synthetic drugs called scented smells and killing our kids and filling their beds, Mirna Šitum has taken us to the second exit.
We learned that he had to go to see Ivo Sanader, who apparently had some dermatological problems. And we should not leave this event.
Though they would love it. What would they just know there?