Wednesday, November 21, 2012

National Addictions Awareness Week

November 19-25th is National Addictions Awareness Week.

Addicition is the continued use of a mood altering substance or behavior despite adverse dependency consequences, or a neurological impairment leading to such behaviors.
(Source Wikipedia)

Addicition is a long road where someone abusing a substance cannot find the original "high" or euphoric feeling they got the first, second or third time they tried it.  The dosage becomes higher, it becomes more frequent, and while said individual is on the search for that feeling, their world around them is falling apart.

  • They may have started isolating themselves from family & friends
  • They may be burning through bank accounts and savings to pay for the addiction
  • They may be stealing from others to pay for the addiction
  • They may be owing a lot of money to their drug dealer(s)
  • They may be having trouble thinking clearly or solving easy problems
  • They may start dealing with anxiety, depression, or irritation
  • They may start blacking out, forgetting where they are or leaving where they are without knowing it
  • They may start having legal issues like being arrested
  • They may not see the danger in driving or working under the influence
  • They may not see any of the above, or realize they have a problem
  • They may start seeing their addiction of a way of suicide

So how do you help?

One of the best ways you can help is to be there to encourage a treatment plan.  Changes like breaking an addiction have to come from the person that is addicted.  They need to make that choice for themselves.  Even going into a treatment plan has to come from the individual, unless court ordered.  Many addicts will lose a lot of their support during their addiction, making it hard to see the treatment options.

There are many resources are available in our areas including:

Centre for Addiction & Mental Health

Amethyst Women's Addiction Centre


Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre

This list is certainly not exhaustive.  At the Distress Centre of Ottawa & Region, we have many more resources for yourself or for another person.  Do not hesitate to call and ask for a resource from us at 613-238-3311.

Addictions can happen at anytime to anyone.  The person does not need to be facing a terrible trauma in their live to become addicted.  Some people simply experiment due to peer pressure, and they get tangled in the mess.

Addicitions are not always drugs either.  They can range from smoking, alcohol, gambling, sex and more. 

Make yourself aware of what addictions are out there, and if you ever feel the need to talk to someone about yourself or some one else in your life, please call us.  We're here for you.


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