What is problematic substance use?

Problematic substance use is the overuse of mind-affecting substances. These include alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, both prescription based and illegal drugs. Ongoing use of substances such as these cause damage to the brain and other organs of the body, and are the primary cause of mental illness.

To enjoy an alcoholic drink now and again is fine but when it becomes a regular need, this need can grow into a dependency. People can develop problematic substance use without noticing because substances such as alcohol have the effect of numbing emotions.

If you’re experiencing stress, anxiety or depression, they can cause emotional pain. Substances such as alcohol will eliminate the pain for a while but not permanently. The substance leaves the body and so you keep reaching for it again and again to mask the pain. You end up in a perpetual self-destructive loop and the longer you allow it, the more work you must to do to break it.

This merry-go-round doesn’t stop until you decide you want to stop it. And we’re here to help you. All you need to start is to be willing.

What are the symptoms of problematic substance use?

How do you know you’re addicted to something? If you’re a fair way down the road with substance use, then you can probably easily answer this question. However, if you suspect you might be dependent, here is a list of symptoms to work though:

  • Regularly using more of the substance than you originally intended
  • Ongoing cravings to use the substance
  • Attempting to cut down, or tell yourself that you must cut down but never succeeding
  • Neglecting home, work, school and personal responsibilities to use the substance
  • Spending too much time using and recovering from the substance
  • Giving up activities you once enjoyed because you would rather use the substance
  • Continuing to use a substance when you know it is affecting your important relationships
  • Continuing to use a substance when you know it has a bad effect on your and others
  • Continuing to use a substance when you know it is dangerous to your health and worsens existing conditions such as depression
  • An increasing tolerance so that you need more of the substance for the same effect
  • Withdrawal symptoms – if you don’t take the substance you feel physical pain or illness which can only be alleviated by having more.

How we help you

By taking that first step and showing willingness, you have taken a great step forward on your journey toward recovery. You no longer need to battle this out on your own. With our experience, knowledge, we’ll guide you to overcome problematic substance use.

Our guidance and counselling will help you by:

  • Getting to the root of the substance abuse
  • Understanding self destructive behaviours and why they happen
  • Developing a strategy to help you alter habits and behaviours
  • Developing a structure of community, connection and communication around you to help you as you work through resolving your substance use
  • Help you build up your self-esteem and confidence
  • Creating a new vision of how you want your life to be

Call me on 0488 435 763 for a no obligation chat.
The first step is all it takes to discover new possibilities for yourself.

Mike Carroll