What is Substance Misuse?
The terms addiction and substance misuse are often used interchangeably and are as applicable to alcohol as to illegal drugs or prescription medications. The American Society of Addiction Medicine recognises drug addiction and Alcoholism as a complex, progressive, and potentially fatal diseases. This problem is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the gold standard text of psychiatrists and psychologists, as substance misuse disorder.
Signs of Substance Misuse
Addiction to drugs effects the brain, thinking, and behaviour of the person suffering. Using drugs addictively can follow a variety of patterns from those who use every day to those who binge with periods of abstinence in-between.
The path into drug addiction is rarely the same for everyone, and there are many layers to this issue. People who have suffered abuse, trauma, or have other underlying medical conditions often need far more support to overcome this problem, and it is never too early to seek help.
- Lying to yourself/Denial
- Memory loss
- Mood Swings
- Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Lack of interest in work/school
“The priority of any addict is to anaesthetise the pain of living to ease the passage of day with some purchased relief “
How we treat Substance Misuse
David draws from personal experience and extensive work with hundreds of people suffering from substance misuse disorders. Having worked in both inpatient drug and alcohol treatment and as an outpatient counsellor, he knows it is a complex issue and draws on many perspectives, not only the disease model, to treat this problem. David is also experienced in helping with other unhealthy habits too.
- Assessment of co-occurring mental health
- Compassion and non-judgment
- Change neural pathways with tools, repetition, and practice