ADDICTION AND PROBLEMATIC SUBSTANCE USE

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Addiction and problematic substance use

Throughout life, it is very possible that you, or someone that you know and love has developed a problematic relationship with alcohol, drugs, or other substances. Becoming addicted, or feeling like one has an addiction can mean that use of a substance has changed, and isn’t as enjoyable as it once was. For example, alcohol is served in many social situations, but when a person finds that they cannot attend to their daily activities without it, they might start understanding it as an addiction. People also may feel addicted when they find themselves at risk of endangering their relationships with others, employment, or spending too much money.

Many substances are addictive based in their own properties and other substances can start as therapeutic (ie: they help me) can become addictive based on our relationship with them. This is why thinking of addiction, as a relationship with a substance can be helpful; because relationships change over time.
Some of the most common substances that people find themselves in relationship with are:
  • Alcohol
  • Prescription drugs (eg: Oxycodone, codeine)
  • Narcotic drugs (eg: Heroine, morphine)
  • Party drugs (eg: MDMA, ketamine)
  • Sugar and sweets
  • Enhancement drugs (eg: steroids, sexual aides)
  • Sleeping medications

The experience of addiction is different for everyone and varies from culture to culture, however, there might be some clues that tell us that substance use is becoming a problem. Some of those might be:
  • Feeling a sense of powerlessness
  • Having feelings of isolation and loneliness as a result of use
  • Feeling that substance use isn’t doing what it used to do
  • Feeling a deep pain that seems to only be helped by using
  • Having people tell me that I have a problem
  • Feeling that balance is being disturbed by substance use

At different times in our lives we may feel a desire to change our habits and behaviours, and even reduce or stop our use to certain substances. Seeking counselling can support your individual goals and desires by:

  • Exploring and conceptualizing the relationship with the substance
  • Discussing ways to reduce the harm that might be occurring.
  • Externalizing and addressing the voice of the addiction
  • Evoking strategies to replace or reframe the addiction
  • Implementing behavioural strategies to reduce use
  • Rebuilding damages relationships
  • Creating strategies to soothe and comfort in times of despair and cravings

Professional Licensed Counsellors

ARE YOU READY TO APPROACH YOUR SUBSTANCE USE IN A NEW AND DIFFERENT WAY?

Let Eagle Wellness be part of the change.
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