Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Many people use drugs or alcohol as a way of trying to cope with their problem. Drugs or alcohol can act as emotional or physical painkillers. However, they can also cover up and distort our experiences of ourselves and the world.
So there are times when we might use drugs or alcohol to cover, avoid or dampen underlying problems, such as unhappiness, a sense of hopelessness, emotional pain or physical pain. These circumstances usually relate to situations that we see no solutions or any way we might effect change.
A drug is any substance that when taken into a person's body may modify one or more of their functions. Drugs can provide temporary relief from unhealthy symptoms. However, some drugs produce unwanted side affects, and can increase our physical, emotional and psychological reliance on their use.
Heavy reliance on drugs or alcohol can distract the user from focussing productively on their life and the issues at hand. When this occurs we might often see someone in this position hiding their drug use from their friends and family members. These actions are usually accompanied by feelings of dishonesty and guilt which can heighten the likelihood of anxiety, hopelessness and feelings of depression - experiences that in turn can fuel the pattern of drugs abuse. When this occurs it is not unusual for the person to be experienced very differently by those who know them. These changes may not be apparent to the person themselves.
Any useful treatment will likely involve helping the person get more in touch with managing their life and their experience of themselves. Our approach would emphasise working closely with the person and often their families to design ways of achieving this.
Listed alphabetically, our approach to treating drug and alcohol abuse includes: