Treating drug and alcohol abuse
The abuse of substances including drugs and alcohol can cause problems in all areas of life. Family and friends may be affected by the abuser's changing personality and his or her inability to accept that they have a problem. It can create massive financial and health problems. Acquiring the substance is often put ahead of essentials expenses such as food, healthcare, rent or utility bills. Drug use can also cause problems at work. Their productivity generally drops, they may take excessive sick leave and their behaviour may become erratic. There are potentially grave legal implications.
Signs of drug use
People who have drug dependence may change their behaviour in many different ways, including:
- Unexplained need for money
- Work or school absenteeism or neglecting family or other responsibilities
- Withdrawing from social circles, frequent arguments, fights or changing friends suddenly
- Increase or decrease in appetites or eating habits
- Impaired concentration, memory or energy
- Risk-taking behaviour such as driving under the influence
Types of drug addiction
There are two types of drug dependence, or drug addiction, and they have differing symptoms and treatment options. The first type of drug dependence — physical addiction — occurs when the person’s body is unable to function properly without constant dosage. The second type — psychological addiction — occurs when the person craves the drug in order to gain satisfaction or experience a particular emotion. People can have either or both of these types of addictions.
When to seek professional assistance
It can be difficult to tell when you or someone close to you has a drug or alcohol problem or addiction. People differ in their opinions of how much use is too much. What should be focused on is the effect of drug use on the user and his or her family, friends and colleagues and whether it is interfering with normal functioning.
How Psychology Melbourne can help
If you believe that you or someone close to you has a drug problem and you would like some professional assistance, one of our drug and alcohol experts can help.