Updated: December 2017
Reading Time: Estimated 5 Minutes
Addiction is a complicated condition. In simple terms it can be described as a compulsive behaviour that promotes an intense focus on a substance that yields negative outcomes. Think alcohol, smoking or ICE use.
Two fundamental properties that determine addiction include (i) an addictive stimuli that is reinforcing and (ii) a stimuli that is perceived as being inherently beneficial, desirable, or pleasurable (1).
Many will become addicted to ICE after repeated exposure despite their best efforts. What usually starts as a social habit quickly morphs into a regular day to day habit. Many make this transition on the guise that it helps them focus and concentrate. This example fulfils both addiction properties of it being both reinforcing and it being perceived as inherently beneficial (at least initially).
The addictions that many in Melbourne currently face continue to be ICE use and excessive alcohol consumption. Here are some of the key questions to ask yourself to determine whether you are addicted to a substance:
A Real World Example
One form of addiction can be characterised by this example. This example is probably on the less extreme end. For many, it’s gets far worse.
Tom goes to work. Work stresses him. He doesn’t like life at the moment. He starts to drink two beer at the end of the day to ‘relax’. He starts with two beers a night but over the course of 6 months, he now drinks eight to ten beers. Soon enough, he can’t recall a day without drinking alcohol.
He now begins each day by telling himself that he won’t drink that night or that he will only have one or two to self moderate. He ultimately fails and by the end of the day, he just drinks to ‘help’ him sleep and to relax. He ignores or forgets the things he tells himself. Thinking about drinking takes over as the day progresses. Tom slowly realises he’s addicted to alcohol and doesn’t know how to wind back the habit without some help. He relies on it. He feels uneasy about getting or asking for support, but he knows deep down it’s the right move to get his life back on track.
If you’re asking yourself “am I addicted?”, it probably indicates that something isn’t right. No one likes to feel controlled or trapped by a substance in order to live their life. One of the best things about being free from addiction is that it offers potential for life improvement in a big way. The door becomes open again for opportunity to have a much better life. It’s why so many end up at rehab and fully recover to feel how life can be so good again.
If you feel as if you’re addicted to a substance and its yielding negative outcome after negative outcome, it may be time to seek assistance. Life can be destroyed by addiction pretty quickly. If so, your first point of support should be your GP and or your specialist. If you feel rehab is the right move and would like to know more, you’re more than welcome to call the team here at Refocus. No one is going to pressure you on the call. We will simply offer information to you or your loved one in order to make a decision. Life can be turned around pretty quickly with the right support, education and treatment. There is no point in waiting until the time is right. There is no perfect time. Please call (03) 9537 0880 if you’re interested in getting some info.