Drug Abuse Problems
Drug Abuse Counselling in Wolverhampton, West Midlands
Drug Abuse is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s highly stressed environment. Drug abuse may involve both illegal as well as legal drugs such as cocaine or alcohol. You can read about alcohol abuse separately here.
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Many people are able to use recreational drugs (Cannabis, Cocaine etc.) without developing major addiction problems or suffering any negative consequences, but for some users, it can become a significant problem that has a truly devastating impact on your life at home, work or socially.
Drug Abuse can lead to increasing isolation and withdrawal from everyday life and for a number of sufferers, can lead to the ultimate penalties of legal problems or even premature death.
In order to effectively deal with the problem of drug abuse, it is important to understand the nature of addiction and how this addiction manifests itself in symptoms and behaviours.
Key Features of Drug Abuse
There are a multitude of reasons why people take drugs, often this can be due to peer pressure in adolescence and the need to feel like one belongs to the right social group.
Sometimes abuse offers a way to escape from some previous traumatic experience, often which occurred in earlier times but which still produce negative feelings in the present for example Anxiety, Depression or Stress.
It does not necessarily follow that all abuse will lead automatically to a state of Addiction as Character and Personality Type can play an important role in determining susceptibility to Addictive Behaviours.
In some cases, drugs may only create a habitual behaviour and not actually be addictive lending weight to the theory that addiction is largely ‘person-centric’.
Abuse and Addiction are not necessarily a problem unless it impacts upon your life, and more importantly, the level of use at which addictive behaviour can said to occur is NOT directly related to the amount of drugs being used!
IF you ARE using drugs AND it IS having a negative effect on your life, then it is likely that you have a drug abuse problem.
Why Do Some People Develop Drug Abuse Problems
As is true with almost all Psychological problems and conditions, the degree of vulnerability to addictive behaviour is determined by personal factors such as your nurturing environment, genetic factors, personality type, social conditioning and any previous mental health problems.
Susceptibility factors may include:-
- Addictive behaviours in your family
- Childhood Emotional Traumas – Conscious or Unconscious
- Other prevailing psychological problems such as Depression or Anxiety
- Substance Abuse at an early age
- Physical method of ingestion – Injecting may lead to addiction more swiftly
The Effects of Drug Abuse on the Brain
Drug Abuse is complex (due to so many factors being involved) and despite the fact that all drugs produce slightly different effects on the Brain, one effect that all abused drugs have in common is their ability, through repeated use, to actually effect the way the Brain functions.
Recreational drugs produce a pleasurable effect by triggering the release of Dopamine into the bloodstream.
These feelings are so pleasurable that the Brain (at least the person) wants the experience to be repeated.
The importance of these feelings can become so profound that the brain regards them as being as important as other “survival” activities such as eating or drinking.
This behaviour can become “normalised” and impede the ability to rationalise in a clear way, leading to the belief that you cannot “cope” or “survive” without the drug.
Under these conditions, the urge to keep using the drug becomes so dominant that the mind starts to develop arguments to deny the “addiction” and to thus continue to use, often leading to a total inability to gauge the amount of drugs that are being consumed, or “need” to be consumed.
On the positive side is the fact that all of these Brain behaviours can also be “unlearnt” and with the right type of therapy and personal effort drug abuse and addictions CAN be resolved.
The most common indicators of a drug abuse problem are:
- Your substance abuse is starting to become more important than your home life, work or schooling and you are starting to neglect your responsibilities
- You are taking risks whilst using your drugs, for example driving whilst under the influence
- You are having problems with the law, for example being arrested for disorderly behaviour or convictions for theft through trying to obtain funds for buying your drugs
- Your relationships are falling apart due to fights or disagreements which may be frivolous
- You need larger quantities of drugs to get the hit that you used to get with smaller quantities
- You are starting to experience more severe withdrawal symptoms when you are without your drug such as nausea, depression or anxiety
- You feel “powerless” to keep the amount of drugs you’re using to a level you can control
- Your primary focus has shifted to drug abuse and you may have quit doing the things you used to enjoy such as socialising or keeping fit
If you demonstrate any of these behaviours then we strongly recommend that in the first instance you consult your GP before you talk to us about how we could help you.
Once you’re ready to face the truth about your drug abuse problem then you have already taken the first important step towards solving the problem and can move towards seeking a solution.
Whichever recovery option you decide to take, being honest with yourself and obtaining the help and support of friends and family can undoubtedly help you to make the move to a drug free life.
Drug abuse is a form of ‘self-soothing’ to make oneself feel better or to avoid having to feel bad. Some research suggests that people who gravitate towards narcotics frequently have very few meaningful ‘social connections’ and that drug taking somehow fills this ‘gap’.
Drug abuse is also associated with peer pressure, particularly within youth culture, and can often lead to the taking of drugs just to ‘fit in’ with what others are doing.
Just as often people may turn to drugs because of earlier emotional trauma that has not been resolved, but as with most ‘solutions’ that seem like a good idea at the time, drug abuse almost always becomes a much bigger problem than the original ’cause’.
We offer a number of different approaches to Drug Abuse problems which will depend on a number of different factors such as your personal history, preferences and the severity of your problem.
Learn How to Thrive & Overcome Drug Abuse
If you want to learn the tools, techniques and coping skills to overcome drug abuse problems then you should consider following the Thrive Programme with Paul here at Tranceform Psychology.
Thrive is an evidence-based training programme that uses applied psychology and CBT principles to help you understand and then change any unhelpful thinking styles and limiting beliefs that have an adverse impact on your symptoms.
Over the course of ten one-hourly sessions you will learn about and develop personal insight into how your core beliefs have either helped or hindered you over your life course and then how to use a range of proven scientific methods to bring about changes which directly impact on your experience and the way that you feel.
Watch the Thrive Video
FREE Initial Consultations for Drug Abuse
We offer all prospective clients a FREE initial assessment to chat about your drug abuse problems. During this 50 minute consultation we will discuss the various options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.
At TranceForm we believe that therapy & coaching should be a collaboration between therapist and client so it’s very important to be able to meet PRIOR to agreeing any kind of help. Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking therapy with us, including both the financial and personal implications.
Thinking Errors Associated with Drug Abuse
Drug Abuse problems may be exacerbated by any number of common thinking errors that people tend to ‘suffer’.
You can find out more about each of these by clicking on the links below:-
- Catastrophising – Making mountains out of molehills
- All or Nothing Thinking – Ignoring the middle-ground
- Fortune Telling – Trying to predict the future
- Mind Reading – I know what you’re thinking!
- Emotional Reasoning – Feelings aren’t facts
- Overgeneralising – Always, Never and Everybody
- Labelling – Successful / Failure
- Imperative Thinking – I need to, I have to and I must
- Confirmation Bias – He didn’t mean I was good because I know I’m not
- Processing Positive Experiences – I didn’t really deserve that Nobel Prize
- Low Frustration Tolerance – It’s too hard I can’t stand it / I can take it I’m worth it
- Personalisation – it’s always my fault when things go wrong
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Contact Tranceform Psychology
Don't hesitate to get in touch with us to find out how Tranceform could help you to achieve your goals and aspirations or overcome problems. We offer ALL prospective clients a FREE initial consultation to discuss all the options available to you.