Addictions are the habitual consumption of a substance, or engagement in an activity, that negatively impacts on a person’s physical and emotional wellbeing. Many addictions begin when an individual tries to actively address life issues such as trauma or daily stress.
These individuals attempt to escape their discomfort through adverse behaviours that are, at best, a makeshift “coping” mechanism. At worst these behaviours lead to a self-destructive path, not only for themselves, but for those around them as well.
Dependence and Signs of Addiction
The reasons behind addiction vary from one person to the next. Despite this, addiction has common physical and psychological characteristics. Once a person starts to rely on an addictive substance or activity too much, they become “dependent” on it. Dependence generally starts with the production of “pleasure” and/or “escape” for the user.
Physical dependence occurs when a person’s body develops a “need” to consume a particular substance or do a particular activity to the point of having withdrawal symptoms. Dependence can occur with both prescribed and elicit substances. These can include:
- Caffeine, alcohol and nicotine
- Cocaine and amphetamines
- Opiates and marijuana
- Barbiturates and benzodiazepines
Psychological dependence occurs when an addicted person has withdrawal symptoms whenever the substance or activity is absent. Withdrawal symptoms include:
- Irritability and insomnia
The speed that a person forms a “dependence” on a substance or activity depends on various factors. These can include the substance or action itself, the volume and frequency of the consumption or activity, the degree of pleasure derived, social factors, genetic makeup, as well as psychological susceptibility.
If you or someone you know needs help to overcome their addiction issues, our multidisciplinary approach will provide informed, quality care. At Direct Focus Solutions we focus on using psychological strategies, biofeedback training, and psychoeducation regarding co-occurring mental health issues (such as anxiety and depression) to tailor interventions.
We will also liaise with doctors regarding medication support and programs for relapse prevention. Our systematic approach also includes family members as they are a vital component of successful rehabilitation. We continually update our interventions in response to current, evidence-based research.
Please come and talk to us. We offer a safe, supportive and professional environment that will allow you to focus on treatment objectives and help you reach for a better life ahead.