Drug Dependency

Drug Dependency – What is it?

Drug abuse is the overuse or misuse of drugs for non-medical purposes. These can be illicit drugs such as speed, ice or prescription drugs such as Valium or common anti depressants such as Xanax, Codeine, Oxycodone (Endone), Dexamphetamine, etc.

Drug abuse becomes an addiction when the user develops a dependence on them, despite the negative physical, mental and social repercussions they bring.

Recreational drugs are often used as a coping mechanism to help counteract boredom, loneliness, relationship problems, low self-esteem or something more deep-seated such as anxiety or depression. But because these drugs can have negative effects of their own, they often compound the problems they are supposed to alleviate.

Types of Drugs

There are three main kinds of drugs, each of which causes different physical and mental reactions:

  • Depressants

Heroin, cannabis, alcohol and other depressants slow your breathing and heart rate down and in small quantities can make you feel happy and relaxed.

But while they can provide a short-term sense of pleasure, they also bring on feelings of anxiety or depression in some people and regular long-term use can negatively affect your mood, making it harder to cope with everyday life.

  • Stimulants

Speed, ice, cocaine, ecstasy and other stimulants increase your heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure and can give you a temporary ‘buzz’ which makes you feel more confident, motivated and energetic.

However, they can also have a number of side effects including stomach cramps, headaches, dizziness and feelings of anxiety, paranoia and aggression.

  • Hallucinogens

LSD, ketamine, magic mushrooms and other hallucinogens cause you to hear and see things that aren’t really there.

As a result of hallucinogens, many experience unpleasant changes to their reality as a result, which can cause anxiety, depression, paranoia and psychosis in those susceptible to mental health problems.

The effect each of these types of drugs has on the user depends on their BMI and the amount and regularity with which the drug is being consumed, but all three have the potential to be both physically and mentally addictive.

Symptoms of Drug Addiction

If you think you or someone you know might be developing an addiction, signs to look out for include:

  • Regular substance use
  • Missing work and becoming unreliable
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Losing weight
  • Experiencing blackouts
  • Experiencing rapid mood changes
  • Having trouble concentrating or making decisions
  • Avoiding people who don’t use drugs
  • Behaving dishonestly with friends and family
  • Being in debt and spending money you can’t afford
  • Having relationship problems
  • Participating in dangerous activities due to drug use.

Reasons for Drug Dependency

There can be a variety of reasons for drug addiction including having an addictive personality, which is a predisposition to developing addictions. You could also have a parent who is an addict or have been exposed to drug addiction from an early age.

Addiction might also result from experiencing a severe physical trauma or injury or a severe psychological trauma such as the loss of a loved one. If you suffer from high stress levels or have a mental health condition such as anxiety or depression, you could also be more likely to become addicted to drugs.

The possibilities are many, but the common denominator is that if you turn to drugs to cope with whatever you think is wrong with your life, the cure often turns out to be much worse than the cause.

Treatments for Drug Addiction and Dependency

Dealing with addiction starts with admitting that you have a problem. Once you recognise this, treatment will depend on the severity of your addiction.

If you are only an occasional recreational drug user, but think drugs may be having too much of an influence in your life, there are steps you can take to moderate your drug use including:

  • Don’t use drugs when you are feeling anxious or sad
  • Avoid keeping drugs in the house
  • Spend more time with friends who don’t use drugs
  • Remove yourself from situations where you know drug use will be involved
  • Try other ways to alleviate feelings of stress or anxiety such as exercise or meditation
  • Set yourself personal goals for cutting back and reward yourself for sticking to them.

If your addiction is more advanced, rehabilitation may be the only way to deal with it. This can take the form of community-based rehabilitation programs or residential rehabilitation services where you stay in a clinic or retreat while being treated.

Rehabilitation often involves detoxification to remove the drugs from your system and then therapy to assist you in changing your behaviour.

Drug Rehabilitation at Palladium Private

Palladium Private is different to other drug rehabilitation facilities because we teach a reality-based mindset technique which is based on CBT, ACT and Rational Emotional Behaviour Therapy. This is an educational program delivered in a retreat environment that focuses on the holistic healing of the mind and body.

Our detox solution has four major components:

  1. If during your pre program assessment you have deemed to have required a withdrawal program, then your program will start with a general check-up with a GP, to review medication and do any required blood or urine tests to identify areas that need addressing.
  2. A chaperone will stay with you for three nights if needed to make sure you feel safe and supported. This can be for the entire program, but most guests usually find they are feeling better after their third day. We do have guests that have requested a chaperone for the majority of their stay and this can be arranged.
  3. A highly nutritious diet is provided to give the body the essential components it needs to fuel the mechanics of detoxification. This is combined with gentle exercise and massage to assist in moving toxins out of the body.
  4. We have a multitude of therapies to choose from for the physical change, but long term permanent change is always done in conjunction with the psychological therapies we select for each client.

Addiction is a coping mechanism and behind the addiction is a root cause that creates the mental conditioning. Our qualified therapists examine the core beliefs or trauma that started you thinking the way you do and that has led to your addiction. Without examining these beliefs, you may return to former habits when under stress and pressure, starting the cycle of rehab and detox once again.

A key factor in our clients’ success is their desire and commitment to making a change in their life. If they are willing and able to learn and apply the information and techniques we give them, there will be a positive, permanent change in their life.

Please note that Palladium Private does not offer programs for clients who wish to lower or cease their prescription drugs. Clients need to stay on their medication until a physician advises otherwise. A client will need to either come off their medication before our program (with time allowed for underlying effects to surface and be controlled) or they stay on their medication throughout their program.

Places in our programs are limited by availability, so please contact us to check if there is a position becoming available. Our experienced team can move quickly depending on your timeframe. To speak with our admissions team, feel free to call us at Palladium Private any time on 1300 573 095.