Addiction

Addiction refers to the problematic use of a substance. The harms of substance use can range from mild (e.g., feeling hungover, being late for work) to severe (e.g., homelessness, disease). Treatment options for addiction include self-help, counselling, medications and withdrawal management.

One simple way of describing addiction is the presence of the 4 Cs:

  • Craving
  • Loss of Control of amount or frequency of use
  • Compulsion to use
  • Use despite Consequences.

Signs & Symptoms

The harms of substance use can range from mild (e.g., feeling hungover, being late for work) to severe (e.g., homelessness, disease). While each time a person uses a substance may seem to have little impact, the harmful consequences can build up over time. A person who keeps using substances despite the harmful consequences may develop a substance use problem.

The harms of substance use can affect every aspect of a person’s life. They include:

  • Injuries while under the influence
  • Feelings of anxiety, irritability or depression
  • Trouble thinking clearly
  • Blackouts
  • Problems with relationships
  • Spending money on substances rather than on food, rent or other essentials
  • Legal problems related to substance use
  • Loss of hope, feelings of emptiness.

Some people may be aware that their substance use causes problems but continue to use, even when they want to stop. They may use more than they intended or in situations where they didn’t want to use.

Some people may not see that their substance use is out of control and is causing problems (denial). This so-called denial, however, may simply be a lack of awareness or insight into the situation. Whether people realize it or not, lack of control is another sign that substance use is a problem.

For more information, visit https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-illness-and-addiction-index/addiction

Addiction Resources

Trafalgar Residence (Inpatient and Outpatient support)  
1-855-972-9869 
https://trafalgarresidence.com/ 

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