Addiction relates to an individual being both physically and psychologically dependent on a substance or substances in order to cope with their life. A set of behaviours becomes established that serve specific functions and with most substances the amount has to be increased to achieve the required effect. As time goes by it becomes harder to change because the habit has become part of the daily routine and is triggered by cues or reminders.
People will often use substances to alter their mood, their energy level and their perception of the world around them. The substance/s then become more important than your relationships, work, health and all else.
These substances can be legal (alcohol, chocolate, coffee), illegal (cannabis, heroin, speed), over-the-counter medications (benylin, pro-plus), sometimes prescribed medications (valium, diazepam) and solvents.
How can counselling help?
Counselling can help in several ways. Often addiction can make us feel alone and separate from others, so entering into counselling can make all the difference. Counselling can help you explore issues around your use of substances and what effects they have in your life. Maybe they have been used to help you cope with a personal trauma or past abuse and it is a way of giving you control, numbing the pain, asking for help and many other meanings. Counselling allows you to work on these and will also look at triggers, relapse and the cycle of change along with motivational interviewing.