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The Psychological Impact in Drug Addiction

Posted on :  August 4th, 2014  |  By :  towardsrecovery

In all aspects of life, thorough understanding of any problem is more likely to facilitate a successful resolution than wandering through blindly with little real handle on the nature of the problem.

The biological factors involved in drug addiction are complex and powerful, but perhaps less discussed are their psychological siblings. Psychological factors play a significant role in drug addiction, both before, during and after it has taken hold of the individual.

Understanding these factors can prevent drug use and addiction, but it can also provide substantial insight to anyone seeing drug addiction from the outside, struggling to understand the motivations behind what appears to be irrational behavior and compulsion.

Common psychological influences

There are numerous delicate factors at work where drug addiction is concerned, but some circumstances can place predispositions onto potential users more than others. Furthermore, additional environmental factors can actively prevent recovery, let alone the desire to seek help.

Some of these environmental factors can include:

  • Peer pressure
  • Isolation
  • Societal judgement
  • External influence i.e. a new, destructive social group
  • Hardship
  • Many more

These environmental factors tend to transform the psychology of an addict, whether potential or actual, encouraging some familiar patterns of thinking and fears, among them are:

  • A desire to belong
  • Experimental curiosity
  • Thrill-seeking behavior
  • Feeling alone
  • A desire for peer approval
  • Many more

Prevention is better than cure

Of course, because everyone is different, the psychology of a drug addict can be deeply entangled with the particular personality characteristics of the individual. As a result, the root causes of addiction, and indeed its perpetuation are likely to vary from one person to the next.

The best means of understanding the psychology of any particular addict, then, is based around observation with the intent to prevent rather than cure. Here are some things to bear in mind:

  • Young people can be especially vulnerable to external pressure. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to remain keenly aware of any young people in your life who may be subject to these kinds of influences. Young people are very responsive to treatment, so it’s important to observe any drastic changes that strike you as unusual and use them as a springboard to seek help, should that be necessary.
  • Be aware that there are no exceptions to the power of drug addiction. It may be unpleasant to consider that a loved one could be susceptible, but in reality, everyone is susceptible. The sooner you realise this, the more likely you are to approach such matters with empathy and understanding.
  • Do not approach a situation if you feel angry. It’s natural to feel betrayed, but unleashing undirected anger at an addict will only serve to isolate them from you, and make matters worse.
  • Professional help is available across a multitude of platforms, and is often the best way to treat drug addiction. Be sure to thoroughly research your options and find one that best suits you/your loved ones.

If you’d like to learn more about the psychology of drug addiction, and you live in or around Hamilton, St. Catharines, or Brantford, Ontario, you can make the first step by contacting Towards Recovery on 519-579-0589 to locate your nearest clinic and kick start your journey.

Make sure you have an unexpired OHIP card or call 1-866-532-3161 to find out how to get one.

Towards Recovery Clinics Inc. (TRC) is an Ontario addiction treatment centre with the philosophy to help individuals take control of their addiction and help them rebuild their lives and careers.

Don’t hesitate to call us! We’ll be happy to help you.

Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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