Drugs and alcohol abuse and addiction
Struggling with drugs and alcohol is a much more common experience than is often talked about and one that can be addressed effectively through the help of therapy. People use drugs and alcohol for many reasons in our society and substance use is often a part of particular social groups and cultures. Substances however have addictive potential and many people experience a sense of losing control over their use and end up drinking or using drugs in ways they might not have initially intended to.
This can lead to substance use taking up more and more over a person's life and experiencing negative consequences of their use on their:
- Life goals
- Work/Family/Relationships or social life
- Mental health
- Financial situation
- other areas of life.
Often drugs and alcohol are also used as a coping strategy to deal with difficult emotions and experiences associated with:
- - Depression
- - Grief
- - Low self-esteem
- - Anxiety
- - Trauma
- - Boredom and Loneliness
- - Other mental health issues
- - Life crises such as relationship breakdown, work/family stress or losing a job.
It is common for people struggling with their drug and alcohol use to experience a sense of hopelessness, feelings of shame and loneliness in relation to their experience. Many people avoid seeking help for their problems due to this and attempt to cope for long periods on their own.
Seeing a psychologist can provide you with a safe and non-judgmental space in which to discuss your experience and concerns and work together to make the changes you wish to make.
Our psychologists understand that when drug and alcohol use becomes habitual and part of a person's way of coping people often feel anxious about potential effects of ceasing or reducing their use including emotions that may arise when making changes or withdrawal symptoms. When drugs and alcohol are used as ways to cope people also often feel nervous about whether they are able to reconnect with areas of their life or develop alternative coping strategies.
Making changes can feel overwhelming and scary. Talking through experiences and emotions and working with someone together to develop strategies can help people to feel less alone and supported through the journey.
Our psychologists are able to assist you with issues around substance abuse in many ways, including:
- Working with you to figure out and achieve the changes you wish to make to your substance use whether this be ceasing or reducing your use
- Identifying and developing strategies to cope with trigger situations and urges to drink or use drugs
- Exploring and resolving underlying issues that you may be coping with through substance use
- Working together to develop other coping strategies
- Looking at the areas of life that may have been affected by drug and alcohol use and ways to rebuild these in other ways
- Managing emotions and other changes that may arise as a result of reducing or ceasing use
- Helping you connect with other services depending on your needs and wishes