Addiction

An Overview

Addiction is a prolonged disorder with social, psychological, biological, and environmental factors influencing its development and continuance. Thus, an individual in addiction state engages in use of a substance or in a behavior for it’s rewarding effects and repeatedly pursues the behavior despite harmful consequences.  For example, smoking creates nicotine addiction and the addict wants to repeatedly experience the effect of nicotine even when s/he has received negative consequences like risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, etc.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Excess use, inability to manage everyday life without the substance or activity.
  • Mood swings, irritability, lying, change in performance.
  • Seeing changes in eating habits, sleeping habits, or weight.
  • Feeling sick or shaky when trying to quit.
  • Stealing or selling things to continue with the addictive behavior.

Causes

  •  Peer Pressure: During adolescence, a person is under   impressionable age and is easily influenced by peers. Peers are the only source of approval and hence are very important part of a teenager’s life. If peers are into any kind of addiction, an adolescent in order of confirm to majority and to be a part of social group will him/herself get involved in addictions.
  • Lack of Parental Guidance: In a dysfunctional family, where there is lack of or too much involvement of elder’s may lead in inappropriate behavior and lack of discipline.
  • Poverty: If a person’s basic needs and requirements are not being fulfilled, they will search for alternative ways to distract their feelings of frustration of anger they may have.
  • Trauma: In case of a tragedy or trauma that may have happened in a person’s life, they might look for varied means to fill up the gap or void in their lives. Addiction provides a temporary relief and can be a method to overcome the pain and suffering the trauma may have caused.

Types of Addiction

1.Substance Abuse – It is described as repetitive use of a substance in a way that is damaging for an individual and can lead to dependence on the substance. Dependence involves developing a tolerance for the substance over time which means that to have the same effect that s/he had in the past they need to keep increasing the dosage of the substance. Examples of substances that are often misused include:

  • Alcohol
  • Cannabis
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamines
  • Club drugs
  • Ecstasy
  • GHB
  • Ketamine
  • LSD
  • PCP
  • Nicotine

2.Behavioural addictions – Behaviors can also become addictive. Similar to substances, behaviours become addictive when used excessively to help the person cope with difficult thoughts and feelings. Examples of addictive behaviours include compulsive shopping, gambling, pornography, internet, eating and others.

3.Internet & Social Media Addiction- The usage of Whats app, FB, Twitter, etc., and excessively getting hooked to social media hampering the functioning.

Assessment and Diagnosis

 DSM is a detailed guideline that professionals use to diagnose various types of disorders. Moreover, if the symptoms continue for more than three weeks it can an alarming sign. The extent of the addiction is then determined and accordingly, treatment plan is suggested.


Treatment for Addictions

At our center, we shall first understand the origin and causes of addiction. Using various modalities we shall design an intervention plan customized to your unique needs and personality. In case of addictions, there is almost in all cases a void that the person is trying to fill and replaces it with addiction. Understanding the void we shall decide the healthy alternate behavior to replace the addictive behavior. De-addiction program is carefully woven multiple sessions and ensures relapse prevention.

How Therapy Works:

Therapy guides you to find the reasons and benefits of quitting the addictive behavior. Once you understand how life will change positively by overcoming addictive needs and how it will empower you to create the missing elements in your life, you will take the first step towards freedom. This conscious re-programming is done Motivational Empowerment therapy. Secondly, the therapy will focus on introducing tools to remain certain in one’s decision and further finding and adopting positive ways to fulfill the need that earlier addictive habit was fulfilling. E.g. A person was forced into addiction due to his break-up , so addiction was filling his need to be loved. Later, he was guided to adopt hobbies that made him feel loved and are empowering as well, e.g. spending time with nature.