Copyright © 2012-16 | Shelley L. Heusser

Shelley Heusser

Clinical Psychologist

BSocSc Psych. (UCT), BA. Hons Psych. (UCT), MA. Clin. Psych. (NMMU)

Practice No: 0445800  Reg No: 0112860

Drug Addiction and Substance Abuse

An    addiction    can    be    to    any    substance    (alcohol,    amphetamines,    cocaine,    nicotine,    opioids,    sedatives, hallucinogens,   inhalants,   cannabis,   caffeine,   etc),   which,   when   ingested,   alter   the   natural   chemical   behavior   of   the brain.      Besides   substances,   addiction   also   includes   dependency   on   "things",   such   things   as   food,   sex,   porn,   and gambling. Addictions   have   both   a   physical   and   a   psychological   component.   Physical   addiction   and   dependency   on   a substance   is   defined   by   the   appearance   of   withdrawal   symptoms   when   the   drug   is   suddenly   discontinued.   Most substances   listed   above   are   all   well   known   for   their   ability   to   induce   physical   dependence   and   addiction.      While physical   dependency   can   be   a   major   factor   in   the   psychology   of   addiction,   the   primary   attribute   of   an   addictive drug is its ability to induce an altered feeling state while causing harm. Psychological   addiction,   as   opposed   to   physical   addiction,   is   a   person's   need   to   use   a   drug   or   engage   in   a behavior   out   of   desire   for   the   effects   it   produces.   Thus,   addictions   are   often   set   in   place   in   order   to   manage   and relieve   symptoms   of   loneliness,   anxiety,   depression,   and   feelings   of   worthlessness.      As   the   drug   and/or   behavior is   indulged,   it   becomes   associated   with   the   release   of   pleasure   and   avoidance   of   pain,   and   a   cycle   is   started   that is   similar   to   physiological   addiction.   This   cycle   is   often   very   difficult   to   break.      It   is   quite   common   for   someone   to express   the   desire   to   stop   the   behavior,   but   find   that   they   are   unable   to   stop   the   addictive   behaviour.   The   most common   of   the   psychological   addictions   include   dependency   on   such   things   as   sex   and   pornography,   food   and eating, and gambling.   If   you   are   addicted   to   a   substance   or   a   behaviour,   you   may   have   repeatedly   expressed   a   desire   to   stop   your addictive   behavior   but   find   yourself   unable   to   stop. Although   there   are   several   treatment   approaches   that   may   be able to help you, many people find traditional interventions too confrontational and dogmatic. I   use   a   contemporary   harm   reduction   approach   with   motivational   interviewing.   Motivational   interviewing   is   a   type of   therapy   that   prepares   individuals   for   change   without   requiring   change   upfront.   It   is   a   very   focused   activity   and requires you to explore your own behavior and recognize where change is needed.   Besides   the   focus   on   unleashing   your   motivation   to   change   and   reduce   harm   resulting   from   the   addiction,   I   also use   my   therapeutic   interviews   in   an   effort   to   discover   factors   that   you   to   embrace   unhealthy   sources   of   pleasure   or relief   from   pain.   In   other   words,   I   will   attempt   to   get   to   know   who   you   are   and   what   may   have   caused   the addiction.   I   will   then   tailor   intervention   approaches   to   the   specific   influences   that   affect   you   and   your   addictive behavior. Some sessions will ne easier than others, but with each session comes more progress. If   you   want   help   dealing   with   your   feelings   and   emotions   and   changing   your   behavior,   and   traditional   addiction therapists   and   approaches   (e.g.   12   steps)   do   not   fit   your   style   or   personal   needs,   I   offer   an   effective,   modern alternative   therapeutic   approach   that   restores   hope   and   dignity.   By   using   flexible   office   appointments,   telephone consultations, email, and skype calling, I can be  readily available to help you.
Drug Addiction and Substance Abuse Drug Addiction and Substance Abuse Drug Addiction and Substance Abuse
Copyright © 2012-15 | Shelley L. Heusser

Shelley Heusser

Clinical Psychologist

BSocSc Psych. (UCT), BA. Hons Psych. (UCT), MA. Clin. Psych. (NMMU)

Practice No: 0445800  Reg No: 0112860