Can one overcome an addictive habit?

A habit or a social activity at times becomes a source of dependence (Addiction). Alcohol and nicotine are some of the many socially approved addictive substances. Individuals who start social smoking and drinking tend to get addicted to these substances especially when they are feeling low, lonely and anxious. The use of these substances is looked as coping strategies to a stressful event.

Biological effects of alcohol and nicotine consumption increase the tolerance level in the brain to achieve the desired effect while it compromises the immune function. Alcohol and other narcotic stimulants such as weed, hash, and cocaine are addictive and produce behavioral dis inhibition and could promote risk-taking behavior.  Warning signs to detect addiction are increase in tolerance, experiencing withdrawal effects, spending a lot of time in activities related to the addiction, reduction in social activities due to the addiction and continuous use of the substance despite the negative effects on the body.

Many clients try cutting down on their addictions before they come in for therapy. Most often these are failed attempts as the withdrawal of a substance may lead to psychological effects of anxiety, irritability, poor concentration and depression. Physical effects of withdrawal may lead to sweating, tremors, nausea, tightness and muscle tensions.

Addiction counseling treatment involves enabling the individual to accept the addiction and reviewing motivational techniques with the client. REBT techniques taught to the client help the individual to change their distorted cognitions from being demanding (“I need the drink”) to more preferential thinking (“I wish to have a drink but I don’t need it”). Low self-confidence and poor functionality are often seen as barriers in treatment. Addiction Therapy encourages the family in viewing the addiction as a disorder that can be treated. This further reduces the blame-game and increases family support and compassion.

Referral is made to a psychiatrist and pharmacotherapy can be introduced in cases of high withdrawal effects or an underlying depression or mood disorder. The main goals of treatment are to establish a perspective that an individual is more than his/her addiction. Lastly, support group meetings and peer counseling sessions help individuals recognize that they are not alone in their battle and there’s always a ray of hope.

Call me – Shrradha Sidhwani – experienced certified psychologist in Mumbai with more than 15 years of experienced in addiction counseling and therapy. Call me on 9820130048 or contact via website for psychological help. Tele-Counselling sessions are also available.

Courageously Connect.

Allow me to nurture, while you walk the path.