The most important aspect of treating an addiction is for us to have the compassion to understand that it can happen to anyone. Addiction is a brain disorder and has no respect for a person, regardless of sex, race, class or age.
The word "addiction" is derived from a Latin term for "enslaved by" or "bound to." If you’ve ever had an addiction, or know anyone that has, you’ll understand this.
It is defined as a psychological and physical inability to stop consuming a drug, chemical or substance or refrain from an activity even though it is causing psychological and physical damage.
If the addiction is a chemical or drug, this is referred to as Substance Addiction. If it’s an activity, for example gambling, this is referred to as a Process Addiction.
Addictions and Habits are completely different. Habit is a behaviour pattern developed by frequent repetition of the act over and over to the point the brain does it automatically. An addiction is a compulsive need of a certain thing or substance to the body, which when deprived causes horrible effects. A habit can be controlled or modified, while addiction cannot be controlled and requires professional help for modification.
Some addictions can also be habits, such as smoking cigarettes.
Process Addictions or non-substance addictions can result in many of the same adverse effects of substance addictions. Process addictions are directly connected to the feeling of euphoria a person experiences when they engage in a particular behaviour.
Most behaviours are carried out by most people on a daily basis, without an addiction developing. So how does the addiction develop?
When people engage in the behaviours that can become addictive, these behaviours tend to be either risky, or pleasurable. This results in the release of dopamine at higher than normal levels. Although this is lower than with substance addictions, the reward system is still activated, and the reinforcement to repeat the behaviour is more significant. Couple this with a driver feeding the behaviour, low self esteem, the need to escape, repressed trauma, loss or guilt, and the behaviour can become an addiction rapidly.
Ultimately, all addictions rely on the increased levels of dopamine in the reward system to become addictive. Substance addictions rely on chemical interference to increase the release, and process addictions rely on the natural production of dopamine to increase levels.
The reward system and dopamine levels are the key processes to address for overcoming addictions.
How we can help?
Our 4 week program will help you to deal with the addiction, the cravings, and most importantly, the drivers behind the addiction, something that most other addiction therapies disregard.
The sessions are friendly and safe, helping you to overcome the issues related to freeing yourself from the prison that you are in created by the addiction.