When I was growing up, I remember how all my classmates progressed. They started smoking cigarettes, then drinking alcohol, then smoking marijuana and then one or two progressed on to even more unhelpful substances! Luckily for me I got off at the first stop and alcohol was as far as my journey went!
I have met so many people in my life that have either had a drinking, smoking or gambling addiction. I am well aware, and to a certain extent I agree with the concept that “addiction is a disease”. And it’s clear that today we also face the added issue of “online addiction”. Spending too much time on the internet.
When I work with clients overcoming addictions, I often give them “tasks” to complete each week. These are a combination of what you might call homework and tests. Things for them to try and then talk about the following week. Such as how that week’s “tasks” went. Often what works for one person doesn’t work for another and it’s a case of “try and see”.
Everyone is different. The two key motivators for human behaviour are the attraction of pleasure or the fear of pain. People get addicted to things as there is a pay-off. This might be the pleasure of that drink. It might be that time on Facebook or WhatsApp, versus the pain of not knowing who’s talking to who online. Think about it, the person who has 100 pieces of Kentucky Fried Chicken in one day, doesn’t do it because he is hungry. They do that because the pleasure they get from every mouthful. That’s the pay off! It’s not until a doctor says you will die of heart failure unless you start living a healthier life that they will (hopefully!) change their ways. Here, ‘fear of pain’ is his motivator.
Help Overcoming Addictions
Obviously, no one can overcome addiction and learn new behaviours to replace their addiction unless they personally want to. But what I do, is work with clients to identify which behaviours are hurting them and which behaviours are helping them. Part of this is also identifying what triggers both these behaviours in the first place.
Helping people with addictions isn’t something that can be done overnight. Learning and ingraining new behaviors is something that can take months to happen. However, I do believe just as we can learn to walk, we can learn to overcome addiction.
To speak to an experienced addiction counsellor online or on the Sunshine Coast, simply contact me to begin the process.