Addiction is a medical condition characterized by a person’s inability to control the intake of a substance or carrying out of a behavior. People can develop an addiction to many things: substances such as drugs, alcohol, nicotine or the usually harmless products like chocolate, as well as to activities such as gambling, sexual intercourse, shopping or surfing the Internet. There are, broadly speaking, two major types of addiction: a substance dependence and a behavioral addiction, both of which can have a seriously negative impact on the daily life of an addict. Addiction counseling can often help to prevent the ongoing damage that addiction can cause to one’s life.
There are many signs and symptoms of an addiction and they will vary depending on the type of substance/behavior and the individual affected. These may include:
- Inability to stop taking a substance or engaging in an addictive behavior, despite its harmful effects (of which the addict may be aware).
- Feelings of shame, guilt, hopelessness resulting from the addiction.
- Obsession with the object of addiction. An addict may go to great lengths to ensure that he or she always has a good stock of the addictive substance, mastering how to hide it across his/her home or car.
- Risky behavior. An addict may engage in risky behavior to continue doing or taking whatever he or she is addicted to.
There is not a single cause of any addiction and it is very hard to predict whether an individual will develop a dependency or not. There are, however, a number of risk factors which may increase one’s chances of becoming addicted. These include genetics and family history, gender, pre-existing mental health conditions, as well as environmental factors (e.g. loose family bonds, peer pressure).
There are a variety of approaches for treating addiction, ranging from self-help groups, residential rehabilitation programs and medical interventions to talk-based individual or family addiction counseling. Addiction counseling may often be of great benefit – following a detox period an affected individual is at a continuously high risk of slipping back into his addiction. This may happen, for example, as a consequence of a sudden stress or exposure to other people engaging in the addictive behavior.
Here at Thriveworks Alpharetta our experienced therapists are trained to help addicts cope with the daily challenges of managing their cravings helping to prevent possible relapses. We design our addiction counseling to address the needs of every patient on an individual basis. So why not get in touch with us today to arrange your first session with one of our expert counselors.