Alcoholics and hard drug addicts are often the first thing that comes to one’s mind when thinking: what is an addiction; who suffers from it? The truth is, however, that addiction disorders are a complex area of mental health science and it is by no means just substances such as alcohol or drugs that can become an object of addiction. The seemingly not damaging substances or activities, for instance food, shopping or gambling, can also result in a serious addiction in some people. The complexity of addiction is one the reasons why addiction therapy is often fundamental to a successful treatment.
Broadly, addiction is a condition in which an individual loses an aptitude to keep under control his or her intake of a stimulant or a particular behavior. The inability to restrain oneself ultimately may have very bad consequences for an addict’s mental and physical health. Physical and psychological addiction are the two major categories of the condition, although they frequently occur together. Physical addiction arises as a result of, for example, alcohol or heroin abuse, while a psychological addiction can be caused by an unhealthy attitude towards work, gambling, or sex.
What Causes Addiction?
An experienced addiction counselor will look at the different factors that may have contributed to development of the condition in a patient and apply this knowledge to provide an appropriate form of therapy. Many factors may increase one’s likelihood of becoming an addict – the most commonly quoted ones include genetics, family history and one’s environment (e.g. peer pressure, lose relationships within family).
People suffering from a physiological dependency on a substance will have to undergo a period of detoxification during which the chemical is no longer consumed. Addiction counseling is the second most important step on the road to recovery for an addict – irrespectively of whether he or she had to undergo detox or not. Counseling therapy is there to help an addict control the cravings and the compulsion driving him or her to give in to the old destructive habits – often as a result of exposure to an external stimulus (e.g. stress, other people consuming alcohol).
At Thriveworks Counseling in Durham, our addiction counselors and psychologists are there to help the patients work through their problems and overcome an addiction. Seeking support is an important step on the path to recovery – contact us today to arrange your first counseling session with one of our mental health professionals.