Addictions, including alcohol addictions and dependancy, have several defining characteristics.
There are usually psychological, biological and societal influences which contribute drug addiction.
Which ones influence the most is open to debate.
Addictions are sometimes not recognised as harmful. If a behaviour is rewarding it is often difficult to recognise as harmful or potentially harmful.
choosingchange offers psychological counselling for addictions. Working toward reducing harm by modifying behaviour can contribute to eventual abstinence. However, some people merely wish to lessen reliance on addictive behaviour.
Attitude, why it is so important…
People who manage to change their addictive behaviour are more than likely to have an attitude that is accepting of the fact that they are addicted but that that they can change their habits. “I am addicted… I want this to change.”
Keeping your goals in line with your ability and understanding immensely helps the capacity to change. Process is another word for journey… for living and that is what we discuss. What is your life path and what goals and expectations do you have, excite you.
Recovery from addiction (alcohol and other drugs) is best viewed as a process and in a continuum. Relapse often occurs during a curative process in addictions. View the relapsing nature of addiction as part of the process and much heartache is saved. Learning from relapse is often a very positive force in the process.
Who Is Vulnerable To Addiction?
Addiction vulnerability is indicated by several factors, including —
Whatever the drug (alcohol, marijuana, speed, cocaine) if it is hindering getting on with life it is considered unhelpful. There are many things you can do to change unhelpful drug-related behaviour.
Counselling sessions will include —
Depression and addiction
An aspect of drug and alcohol abuse that is often overlooked is the connection between that and depression. Often, depression and drug abuse or reliance go hand-in hand.
Addiction and depression are common co-morbid conditions. The Epidemiologic Catchment Area study conducted by the National Institute on Health reported that almost one-third of individuals with depression had a co-existing substance use disorder at some point in their lives (Regier et al, 1990).
The National Co-morbidity Study found that men with alcohol dependence had rates of depression three times higher than the general population; alcohol dependent women had four times the rates of depression (Kessler et al, 1997). Studies of clinical populations also show high rates of these combined disorders (Salloum, Daley & Thase, 2000; Daley & Moss, 2002).
Many clients have recurrent major depression, dysthymia (a chronic form of depression) or both major depression and dysthymia, also called “double depression.”
It is crucial that this aspect of treating or counselling for addiction and depression is handled sensitively and effectively.
Addiction Recovery Strategies
You cannot do this alone…. seek assistance
I’ve labeled this section as such because strategies may the only course of effective action for someone who abuses or is dependant on drugs.
Generally speaking, substance abuse is described:
Substance dependence is generally described:
Drugs are fantastic pacifiers and people who need to satisfy and calm anxieties will be quickly drawn to these ways of self-medicating. Society provides an enormous variety of ways for humans to enable self-soothing. Drugs and alcohol are quick and efficient but ultimately ineffective. Overuse of drugs and alcohol turn humans into slaves, relying less and less on helping themselves to alleviate anxieties in a productive and rewarding manner.
Where alcohol and marijuana (cannabis) can provide a warm and relaxing mood between friends in social situations, overuse of these and use of harder drugs can cause massive problems in the lives of users and the families and friends of users. These drugs include:
A common characteristic description of over use of drugs is the highs and lows of the user’s life. Also common is the effect these drugs have on the brain. Drugs make t he user feel good. The problems occur when a dependence or addiction occurs. Giving up is hard to do.
Giving up drugs and alcohol may require a several prong attack. Addictions are often associated with underlying problems the person may be facing.
Dealing with depression and low self-esteem or anxiety issues are often accompanied by successful programes to give up drugs.
Things to start doing to help maximise your efforts:
Developing a strong self-esteem and assertiveness are critical aspects of this process:
Be prepared for relapse — look for:
What I have described above are all strategies you can start to put in place to help you overcome drug and alcohol dependence.