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One of the biggest challenges we face as humans is breaking a behaviour. When destructive behaviour becomes an addiction, it is time to seek help. Here we look at addiction and the treatment available.

What is an addiction?

Anyone who struggles with addiction or is in a relationship with someone struggling, knows it can feel like an invisible shackle. Even if you are not experiencing addiction yourself, being a family member or co-dependent can be just as challenging.

Addiction can affect a person’s behaviour so much that they alter their personality. But there is help available.

If you or someone you know is struggling with these issues, it is important to remember that you are not alone. According to the UK Government, more than 137,000 people go into a drug or alcohol treatment programme each year.

What set our therapist apart was her genuine empathy and personal insight. Not only did she possess a deep understanding of neurodiversity, but she also shared personal experiences that resonated with us, creating an instant connection and fostering a sense of trust!

Benedetta Osarenk

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Finding help: therapies and support

Many forms of talk therapy, such as CBT for addiction, have been shown to be effective in treating both abuse and addiction. Other forms of support, such as family support for addiction, can be indispensable for those living close to someone suffering from these problems. Even if we are not struggling with an addiction ourselves, we may still need help dealing with the behaviours of someone who is.

From conversation to understanding and change

Talk therapy is often the first step in seeking help. By working with a psychologist or therapist, you can begin to understand your symptoms and triggers, which is crucial for long-term change.

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When professional help is unavoidable

If you are experiencing signs of abuse or addiction that are affecting your life or work, it is essential to seek professional help. There are many training courses on addiction and dependency that caregivers undergo to provide the best possible support and treatment.

It is never too late to break free from abuse or addiction. Help is available and support is just a click away. So if you or someone you love is struggling with these issues, do not hesitate to seek professional help.

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The first step towards change

Book a session with a qualified coach, therapist or psychologist today through our website. If the time is not right at the moment, remember there is always an opportunity to come back when you are ready to make a change. Together we make the difficult easier.

14 common questions about addiction

What is addiction?

Addiction is a complex psychological condition in which the individual feels an inability to stop using a substance or performing a certain activity, despite negative consequences.

How does addiction differ from abuse?

Abuse is usually the initial stage, where we overdo a behavior or consumption but still have some control. Addiction indicates a deeper problem, often with physical or psychological symptoms when we try to break the behaviour.

Is addiction a disease?

Yes, addiction is considered a brain disease because it affects the brain’s reward system and decision-making.

Can addiction be treated?

Addiction can be treated, but it often requires long-term care and support. It is a constant battle, but improvement is possible.

What are the signs that I may be addicted?

The signs can be things such as an increased tolerance to a substance, withdrawal when we break a behaviour, or a feeling that we cannot control our behavior.

What are the risks of addiction?

The potential risks range from problems with our physical and mental health to unemployment and a loss of relationships.

How can I help a friend who is addicted?

The first step is to offer your support. Encourage them to seek professional help and stand by them during treatment.

What treatment options are available?

There are several different types of treatment such as medication, therapy, and support groups, such as the 12-step programme.

How long does it take to get rid of an addiction?

It varies from person to person. Some may need a few months while others may need years of continuous care.

Is relapse common?

Yes, relapse is part of the recovery process for many people. The most important thing is not to give up.

What can I do if I relapse?

Seek help immediately. Relapse is not a sign of failure but it is important to act quickly to get back on track.

What resources are available?

In addition to our professional therapists and psychologists, there are many websites, books, and support groups that can offer additional information and support.

Can I be treated online?

Lavendla’s team of therapists and psychologists are available for online sessions via video conference.

How important is the support system around a person with an addiction?

A support system is often crucial to successful recovery. This includes not only professional help such as therapists and doctors, but also family and friends who provide emotional and practical support. A good support system can help reduce the risk of relapse and help the person maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Steps of addiction treatment

Treatment for an addiction or abuse differs from person to person, although it often follows a similar format. To give you an understanding of what professional help to break a destructive behaviour might look like, we have listed examples of the different phases:

  1. Evaluation and diagnosis
    The first step is often a thorough evaluation and diagnosis of your addiction. This includes medical and psychological evaluation.
  2. Possible detoxification or abstinence
    For some types of addictions, such as alcohol or opioids, detoxification may be necessary. This is done under medical supervision.
  3. Treatment planning
    An individual treatment plan is created, which often includes different treatment methods such as psychotherapy, drug treatment and sometimes even self-help groups.
  4. Psychotherapeutic treatment
    Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a common method, but other approaches such as psychodynamic therapy or family therapy may also be used.
  5. Follow-up and Maintenance
    Long-term treatment and follow-up are often necessary to prevent relapse. This may include regular meetings with health care providers and continued participation in support groups.
  6. Relapse prevention
    Skills and strategies for dealing with the temptations and difficulties that can lead to relapse are a critical part of long-term recovery.
  7. Lifestyle changes
    Changes in lifestyle, including work, leisure and relationships, are often necessary to support long-term recovery.
Lavendla – Making the difficult easier

Written by dominic

Dominic is a Cape Town-based copywriter and editor with a background in psychology.