Addiction | Kay Trotter

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Addiction

Struggling with Addiction? Get help!

Addiction can take a significant toll on an individual’s personal, occupational and family life. Whether a chemical addiction (drugs or alcohol) or a behavioral addiction (sex, gambling, technology), the first step in getting help is recognizing the problem.


Substance Addiction

In regards to substance addiction, the DSM-IV, the ‘bible’ of psychiatry, recognizes three levels of diagnosis: use, abuse, and dependence.

“Substance use” refers to more casual, low-risk addictive behaviors. Abuse indicates that the problem is more severe, and dependence refers to full blown emotional or physical dependence on the substance, indicating withdrawals.


Key aspects of addiction to explore:
  • Do you find yourself craving more of the same object in order to obtain previous ‘highs’?
  • Have people been pointing out that you may have a problem?
  • Are you constantly obsessing over the behavior? Does every conversation end up on said topic?
  • Is your work, school, personal or family life struggling as a result of the problem?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be struggling with addiction.


Behavioral Addiction

Behavioral addiction is measured differently. What most people would term ‘sex addiction’ or ‘gambling addiction’ are referred to as compulsive behaviors. Technological addiction, like playing Farmville for 10 hours a day, is not recognized as an official diagnosis. However, more professionals are starting to recognize the destructive effects of technological overuse on individual’s personal, family, and occupational lives.


If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, the first step is to seek treatment. For an individual who is on the ‘use’ end of the spectrum, a combination of talk therapy and medication could be appropriate.

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS PHYSICALLY DEPENDENT ON DRUGS OR ALCOHOL, DO NOT ATTEMPT A ‘COLD TURKEY’ WITHDRAWAL AS YOU COULD SUFFER PHYSICAL DAMAGE. There are specific rehabilitation facilities for those who are physically dependent on drugs or alcohol.

Links



Alcoholics Anonymous
(outpatient support group)
www.aa.org


Narcotics Anonymous
www.na.org

Santé Center for Rehabilitation
santecenter.com


Caron Treatment Centers – Texas
www.caron.org