How can you know if someone close to you may be having a problem with addiction? What can you do to help? How can addiction be treated?
If you or a loved one have an uncontrollable urge to take a substance, have problems in limiting your use of it, and are experiencing life difficulties because of it, then it is probably addiction.
Any addiction should be taken seriously because of the physical and psychological challenges it can cause in a person. What begins as recreational drug taking or social drinking, can develop into a dependency. Addiction undermines interpersonal relationships by destroying the addict’s capacity to reason and act normally because the lure of the substance they are taking is overpowering.
Addiction can lead to law breaking to maintain the supply of whatever they are dependent on and even to suicide. It can destroy a person’s source of income, leading to financial difficulties and loss of their home. Unfortunately, addicts can even take their families down with them in this regard.
Frightening isn’t it? This book covers what addiction is and how people can get help to control it to avoid it ruining the rest of their lives and possibly the lives of others.
Chapter 1 drug and addiction counselling
Chapter 2 types addiction
Chapter 3 addictions & comorbidity
Chapter 4 alcohol use and dependence
Chapter 5 counselling the individual with alcohol related problems
Chapter 6 substance abuse and dependence
Chapter 7 counselling the individual with substance related problems
Chapter 8 counselling for addictive behaviours
Chapter 9 the healthcare team support networks and specific groups
Extract from book:
An addiction is an uncontrollably strong need for a certain substance or behaviour, such as to take drugs, drink alcohol, or to gamble. In the case of substance addiction, the person will seek out drugs even though they know the harm they can cause. When a person takes drugs or drinks for the first time, it is usually through their choice (although some may do so under peer pressure or to become accepted by peers). But with repeated drug or alcohol use, the substance often starts to have negative effects. These include changes in the brain's chemistry which make it more difficult for a person to resist taking the substance. The person may lose control so that as they continue to use the substance it is no longer a choice as such. They are instead satisfying a need.
Taking the substance can become the most important thing in a person’s life. More important than their family, their job or their life itself. It can also lead to problems at home, at work and in education. It can cause the person to search out drugs or alcohol and use them again and again, rather than engage in everyday life activities.
Although the overall impact on the person’s life and behaviour may depend on the severity of their addiction, any dependence on a substance has negative consequences.
Sadly, people may not always realise that they are addicted. They may think they can control what they are doing. The National Institute on Drug Abuse in America suggests that if a person answers 'yes' to any of the following questions, they require professional help:
- Have you ever ridden in a car driven by someone (including yourself) who had been using alcohol or drugs?
- Do you ever use alcohol or drugs to relax, to feel better about yourself, or to fit in?
- Do you ever use alcohol or drugs when you are alone?
- Do you ever forget things you did while using alcohol or drugs?
- Do family or friends ever tell you to cut down on your use of alcohol or drugs?
- Have you ever got into trouble while you were using alcohol or drugs?