Addiction means dependency, something that a person believes they cannot live without, and the most common addictions are alcohol or drugs.
People often talk about being addicted to cigarettes, chocolate (‘chocoholics’), or even gambling but these are compulsive activities; smoking and eating to excess are compulsive oral habits but they are not addictions in the true sense of the word.
When people are addicted to alcohol and drugs, it is generally accepted that the more they use, the more they need. The body gets used to larger doses when lesser doses have no effect and this leads to the craving for larger and more frequent amounts to achieve the same effects. They end up being totally dependent upon them because they can’t live without them.
Drug abusers and, sometimes, alcoholics, need carefully monitored medical help to wean themselves from their addictions, whereas the ‘chocoholics’ mentioned above, smokers, gamblers, etc need to use their willpower, and change their badly managed thinking to rid themselves of their compulsive habits.
THRIVE is a very effective training programme, because it helps the client to understand their current thinking and shows them how to change that.
People turn to drugs and alcohol for a variety of reasons; some do it due to peer pressure, whereas with others it’s a means of blotting out matters they find difficulty facing up to.
As in all cases of addiction and compulsive habits, it is essential that the client wants to stop. Nobody can force them to do it. They have to put time effort into their treatment, which is likely to be challenging but the end result will be life-changing for the better.