This book examines what addiction is, the physical and emotional effects of substance related disorders, and the different treatments available to help a person to control their disorder.
Any addiction is of serious concern. No-one begins to take drugs or drink too much with the intention of becoming addicted or to develop serious health problems. But prolonged drug or alcohol use can have a serious impact upon a person’s health, both physically and psychologically. Addiction can undermine and even destroy interpersonal relationships and family networks. It can destroy careers and have a deleterious effect upon a person’s wealth. If a person becomes addicted to drugs and alcohol, then drug and addiction counselling is often required to help them overcome their addiction because the impulse to continue using is so strong.
Many people from different walks of life develop substance related disorders. There is no particular stereotype, although some people may be more likely to develop a disorder than others. If substance use becomes problematic there are typical characteristics of the behaviour:
- There is an overpowering urge to take the substance
- There is a problem with controlling use
- There are other difficulties relating to the use of the substance
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?
Like this? You might also be interested in ACS Distance Education's Counselling and Psychology Courses.