There are many forms of addiction, and it remains one of the most prevalent problems in modern society making addiction counselling one of the most popular forms of counselling. Whether the subject of the addiction is sex, gambling, shopping or illicit drugs; the issue is virtually the same. The behaviour might start gradually, with occasional excess or infrequent binges, but as damaging associations are built up it snowballs into something much more serious. Addiction comes to dominate the individual’s life and drives wedges between loved ones, and the physical element of some addictions makes getting clean even more difficult.
Counselling is normally required if you or your loved one are experiencing problems due to addiction. Addiction usually arises as an attempt to deal with other issues. This could be a variety of things, including stress, low self esteem, depression and trouble socialising. Drugs of abuse or short-term rewards like a gambling win provide temporary relief from personal issues, and which means it can quickly become a habit. An individual might drink alcohol as a means of relieving stress at the end of a long day, but over time they begin to see it as the most desirable solution to the problem, largely because it’s easier than confronting serious problems. Therapy is designed to unearth underlying issues and help people overcome addiction.
Illicit or legal substances are often the subject of the person’s addiction, and these pose additional problems. For example, a heroin addict will experience severe withdrawal when he or she tries to stop taking the drug, and the intense symptoms further strengthen the craving to use the drug. This is because drugs create a chemical imbalance in the brain, and if exposed to the substance regularly the brain adapts to suit the chemical injection. This means that the individual needs to take the drug to continue functioning “normally,” needs to take more to achieve the same high and is chemically unbalanced without the substance. Therapy can’t manage these physical effects, but withdrawal management medicines are prescribed in some cases.
As a result of these physical symptoms and the potential dangers associated with drugs of abuse, the psychological issue becomes more complex. Physical withdrawal may prevent people from wanting to get clean, and psychological factors make dealing with ordinary life without the crutch of drugs a challenge. Making a genuine decision to change your lifestyle is absolutely essential to getting clean because it requires dedication, persistence and hard work. Your counsellor will offer all the help possible, but the decision is still ultimately in your hands.
Psychotherapy is the most important treatment for people struggling with addiction. The therapist will be able to identify the various underlying factors which drive the individual to take drugs, and can help them learn new coping mechanisms to remove the reliance on the substance or activity. The underlying issues are usually rooted in childhood and are often very difficult to overcome. This is why having a professional counsellor is extremely important, particularly when you consider the possible ramifications of continued addiction. Medicines may be offered as substitutes or to curb withdrawal symptoms, and these help you focus on the psychological hold of addiction.
If you or your loved one are abusing substances or is addicted to a specific activity, finding help is important. Addiction allows individuals to ignore their problems by presenting a short-term solution, so sobering up can be an emotionally taxing experience. Counselling provides the emotional support needed and unearths the real issues lurking behind addiction. We can help you determine your requirements, and will suggest the best options for treatment to you. We know you’re going through a difficult time, and we’re here to help you. Our advice is friendly, confidential, safe and secure, so get in touch with our counsellors in Luton and Dunstable, Bedfordshire today!
For more information about our costs for addiction counselling services please see the about us page.