Information on Drug Addiction & Abuse
Addictions are most commonly associated with drugs but can also broadly refer to engagement in any compulsive behaviour resulting in possible harm. While addiction to drugs is the most common manifestation, addictions can also be associated with a range of activities including gambling, compulsive sex, videogames, or internet use.
The key feature of addictions is that engagement in a particular behaviour is compulsive and brings about a desired change in consciousness, yet proves problematic in the long term. Drugs, for example, have the most powerful effects, bringing about obvious physical, physiological or psychological changes in the body.
Generally drugs are classified in three major categories as follows:
- Depressants slow the functions of the central nervous system and affect concentration and coordination. Examples of depressants include legal substances such as alcohol or illicit ones such as cannabis, opiods (eg heroin, methadone) and GHB (gammahydroxy butarate).
- Stimulants speed up bodily functions and can induce euphoria, energy and alertness. Legal stimulants include caffeine, nicotine and ephedrine while illicit stimulants include amphetamines such as ‘ice’ or ‘speed’, cocaine and MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine or ‘ecstasy’).
- Hallucinogens distort perceptions of reality with unpredictable and sometimes dangerous consequences. Hallucinogens include cannabis, ketamine, LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), ‘magic mushrooms’ (psilocybin), mescaline (peyote) and PCP (phencyclidine).
While there are varying degrees of use of illicit drugs, problems arise when the harms associated with use begin to outweigh the rewards. If regular drug use is likely to place you at odds with the law; or if continued use is beginning to affect your general health, your moods, the quality of your work and your relationships with others, then the overall quality of life is at risk and professional treatment and support may prove necessary.
For free information resources relating to any drug of concern, please click here.
Drug Addiction Treatment
Like alcohol use, the use of substances or drugs whether narcotics, stimulants, hypnotics, stimulants or hallucinogenics, can be surprisingly complex. The use of drugs or substances has a function whether understood or not. Treatment for drug addiction can only take place when that function can be made clear and healthier alternatives put in place to address the original issues the drugs were deployed to initially address.
At The Sanctuary Byron Bay, we:
- help you understand what is driving you to misuse drugs;
- work with you to resolve these underlying issues;
- help you understand the broader picture of addictive processes as they play out in your life;
- give you the tools to live a happy and fulfilling life without needing drugs.
Drug use is not confined to isolated scenes or subcultures. Drug use is prevalent and pervasive and cuts across social, gender and age lines. Anyone can be affected by problematic use.
A Holistic Approach to Treating Drug Addiction
Treating drug addiction holistically requires a sensitively staged approach. As abrupt withdrawals can be potentially life threatening or dangerous, medical supervision is required from the outset.
Following the acute withdrawal stage, rejuvenating therapies, light body work and light personal training will help build strength and vigor. Meanwhile, intensive psychotherapy and other reflective therapies begin to illuminate the underlying deeper reasons behind habitual drug use. With this understanding, a renewed connection to life is bolstered through engagement in a range of interesting, fun and enjoyable activities.
Our holistic approach will bring together your mind, body and your deepest self, into alignment and harmony. But importantly - all your program activities and therapies will be introduced at the right pace, at the right time, and in the right mix.
When seeking treatment, please remember that medical supervision is essential in detox circumstances where a person has been heavily reliant upon drugs for some time. Contact us to find out how a highly specific and personalised 28 Day Intensive Residential Program can be created for you.
"...I had slipped into an addiction to painkillers without even realising that was the case until I tried to stop. The withdrawals were so awful that I'd always relapse into regular use again. The Sanctuary really helped me to understand I needed a highly managed detox with calming and restorative therapies to help ease my reliance on the painkillers. It was the most difficult thing I've ever done but I'm glad the help was there." 56 yo woman