Given the deep insight from a psychologist, active participation from the audience, and hands-on techniques for the prevention of substance abuse, it is not astounding that our webinar was a complete achievement.
SimranShri Rehabilitation Centre conducted its first online webinar on 7th April 2022. We were joined by our psychologist Ms Gunjan who decoded the psychology of addiction by sharing her experiences. She also busted myths about addiction that hold individuals back from seeking treatment and, thus, recovery. Scroll down for a quick recap of the webinar and get acquainted with substance abuse triggers, signs and treatment.
The First myth busted by Ms Gunjan was pertaining to the nature of addiction- No, addiction is not a choice. It is neither a character flaw nor a moral failure. It is a mental disorder characterised by an uncontrollable urge to use drugs or alcohol. Several causes and triggers of addiction leave an individual incapable of stopping themselves despite realising the repercussions. These triggers can be places, situations, people or events that put individuals in an emotional and mental place of pain, distress, frustration, anger or other emotions. These triggers act as stimuli for an individual to desire the intake of drugs or alcohol.
Triggers can be broadly divided into two types: internal and external. Some common examples of triggers of addiction include:
● Depression and anxiety
● Loss of control
● Job loss, heartbreak, or grief
● Stress or fear
● Feeling misunderstood or unsafe
● Specific places (home, cities, streets, countries)
● PTSD and abuse
● Feeling attacked, Feeling judged, feeling invalidated.
Other substance abuse triggers include smell, sight, aggression, conflict, stories, news, books, and memories, which can cause an individual to use drugs or alcohol.
The Best Substance Use Disorder Treatment recommends the following methods to manage triggers:
● Therapy or counselling
● Spending time with a loved one
● Join a support group
● Meditation or mindfulness
● Eating nutritional meals
● Drinking water or tea for relaxation or hydration
● Use positive distractions
● Reframe negative attitudes or perceptions
Addiction treatment focuses on these triggers to address the emotional causes of addiction. Until these triggers are resolved, an individual will keep falling back to substance use.
People are often heard saying that "mental weakness" is a sign of addiction. This is another myth that stops individuals from getting help for their loved ones. It stops an individual from recovering and gives rise to a stigma. There is no such thing as "mental weakness". An individual falls prey to addiction due to several causes such as genetics, phycological, traumatic experiences, and environmental or life stressors. Succumbing to what life throws at you is not a "mental weakness"; it makes an individual more susceptible to addiction.
Prevention of substance abuse can be achieved only when we learn about addiction. Be it for ourselves or our loved ones, until we are well-versed with the signs of addiction, we will not be able to prevent addiction. Here are some early signs of addiction that also serve as cues for an individual to seek help from the best de-addiction centre in India.
● Changes in behaviour or personality, like agitation, irritability, or lack of motivation
● Bloodshot eyes and frequent bloody noses
● Slurred speech, Tremors, Shakes
● Changes in daily routines
● Lack of interest in personal hygiene
● Financial problems or unusual need for money
● Changes in social groups, friends and activities of interest
If you observe these signs of addiction in anyone around you, seek addiction treatment right away. Remember, the sooner an individual struggling with addiction gets help, the better. The team of mental health professionals at SimranShri Rehabilitation Centre are standing by to help you get started on the road to recovery.
Ms. Gunjan Bhagchandani is a Counselling Psychologist with a specialization in dealing with Depression and Anxiety disorders among young adults. She also has a keen interest in working with individuals suffering from substance use disorders. She holds certifications in various psychological therapies. After working in different clinical settings for several years she is now focused on spreading the awareness regarding substance abuse and increasing recognition of rehabilitation centres.