Addictions: Road To Recovery

What is an addiction?

An addiction can take many forms, such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, the internet and food consumption. People living with addiction often describe feeling powerless when faced with the inability to stop using a substance or engaging in a behaviour that has clear negative consequences. This can lend itself to strong feelings of shame which can perpetuate social withdrawal and isolation. Unsurprisingly, those suffering from addiction might find themselves also suffering concurrently from depression, anxiety and trauma. With a firm grip over every aspect of life, the cycle of dependency becomes more and more difficult to break. 

 People living with addiction often describe feeling powerless when faced with the inability to stop using a substance or engaging in a behaviour that has clear negative consequences.

Signs You Might Be Experiencing an Addiction

Recognizing when you are experiencing addiction involves being aware of behavioral, emotional, and physical signs that indicate dependence on a substance or behavior. Here are some key indicators

Loss of Control

Difficulty limiting or stopping substance use or engaging in the behavior despite negative consequences.

Preoccupation

Spending a lot of time thinking about the substance or behavior, planning for it, or recovering from its effects.

Withdrawal Symptoms:

Experiencing frequent withdrawal symptoms (e.g., extreme hangovers, jonesing, restlessness) when not using the substance

Neglecting Responsibilities

Failing to fulfill obligations at work, school, or home due to substance use or preoccupation with the behavior.

Continued Use Despite Consequences

Persisting in substance use or behavior despite knowing it causes problems in relationships, health, or other areas of life.

Loss of Interest

Losing interest in hobbies, activities, or social interactions that were once important.

Mood Changes

Mood swings, irritability, or agitation when not using the substance or engaging in the behavior.

Risk-taking Behaviour

Engaging in risky activities to obtain the substance or continue the behavior, such as driving under the influence or unprotected sex.

Secrecy and Deception

Hiding substance use or behavior from others, lying about it, or being defensive when confronted.

How we can help

While gaining control over your addiction might be challenging, the road to recovery is very much an achievable goal. At Strive Counselling, we adopt a Harm Reduction perspective to addiction – a framework that honours the type of relationship you have and would want to have with your substance of choice. We understand that addiction is not a sign of weakness, but a condition requiring comprehensive treatment that entails developing tools and strategies to manage it. Through counselling, you will learn to gain a deeper compassionate understanding of your addiction, and how to work through it. We would love to hear from you, and to join you on your road to recovery.

We have provided three common therapy treatments that are provided at Strive Counselling for you to learn about.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors to improve emotional regulation and develop personal coping strategies.

Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFT)

An approach that focuses on understanding and integrating the different parts of a person’s internal system.

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)

Addresses emotional dysregulation and interpersonal relationship challenges through cognitive-behavioral techniques.

Crisis Services

If you believe you have experiencing trauma, it’s important to see a doctor first to rule out other potential explanations for your symptoms, please reach out to BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services for more information and community resources

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