Addictions & Alcohol-related Problems

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Addiction, dependence on a particular substance or activity, is one of the most important, difficult, and complex areas of mental health. Addiction can be difficult to treat, and there is a good deal of controversy surrounding the causes of addiction and the best approaches to treatment.

Warning Signs of Drug or Alcohol Abuse

Drug and alcohol abuse or misuse—excessive or inappropriate use of a substance—can be difficult to define, and people’s opinions, values, and beliefs vary significantly on the topic. For some, any use of an illegal drug or any use of alcohol with the primary purpose of intoxication constitutes abuse. For others, abuse is indicated by recurring, negative consequences, such as:

  • Failure to meet social, work, and academic obligations
  • Physical injury or illness
  • Alcohol- or drug-related legal problems, such as arrest for driving while intoxicated
  • Relationship problems with intimate partners, friends, and family
  • Impulsivity, such as spending money excessively
  • Diminished interest in other activities
  • Memory loss or blackouts

Signs that Substance Abuse Has Become Substance Addiction

Substance abuse can lead to substance dependence or addiction when both quantity and rate of use increase. People who experience drug or alcohol addiction feel unable to control the impulse to use, and they often experience withdrawal symptoms in the sudden absence of the substance. Some people are unaware or deny that they have a problem with addiction, and sometimes a person’s struggle with drug and alcohol abuse remains hidden from loved ones.
 
Signs of chemical dependence include:

  • Increasing tolerance, or the need to consume more of the substance to reach the desired altered state
  • Requiring the substance throughout the day
  • Seeking the company of other users and cutting off social ties with non-users
  • Dismissing or resenting expressions of concern from loved ones
  • Avoiding other activities and failing to meet obligations
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms in the absence of the substance
  • Hiding use from family and friends
  • Bingeing—using heavily—for many hours or several days
  • Feeling unable to quit

What Leads a Person to Misuse Drugs or Alcohol?

There are a number of causes related to drug and alcohol abuse, including psychological, biological, social, and physiological reasons. A family history of substance abuse can make a person more vulnerable to addiction, and social factors, such as peer pressure and ease of availability can increase the likelihood of a person developing a problem with drugs or alcohol. In addition, once a person begins using heavily, physiological changes take place, and that person may then become physically dependent, requiring him or her to continually use the substance in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Therapy Can Help Overcome Addiction

Therapists who specialize in addiction recovery help people set achievable and empowering short-term goals. It may also be important to obtain medical assistance to help in the management of this process. Once sobriety is achieved, healthy and adaptive skills can be developed, and the therapist and client can begin to explore the source of the addiction while employing the new coping strategies. Together, the client and therapist will work to set longer term goals that include rebuilding damaged relationships, accepting responsibility, and releasing guilt. A skilled therapist can help someone dependent on drugs or alcohol overcome their addiction and set them on the path of achieving the life they truly desire.

Contact us now in confidence at Arduna @ (01) 833 2733 to discuss making an appointment with one of our therapists who can help you with addiction problems.

THERAPISTS WHO SPECIALISE IN THIS AREA:
To get more information on an individual therapist please click on name

Audrey O’Cinneide
Carol Owens
Gail McGuinness
Juliet Smith
Sinead Carroll
Susan McFeely