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Mind Matters | Addiction issues

Mind Matters | Addiction issues

While dealing with substance abuse, I often ponder over how seeking support for my mental health can contribute to understanding and addressing the roots of my addictive behavior. If I seek help from professionals, will I find a treatment plan tailored to my needs and help me in my struggles with addiction?

Answered by Rishav Koirala, researcher and psychiatrist

Collaborating with healthcare professionals becomes a cornerstone in tailoring a comprehensive treatment plan that extends beyond immediate challenges, delving into the deeper, underlying factors influencing struggles and helping the sufferer through the long journey of abstinence and instances of relapses. This collaborative effort involves a detailed methodology encompassing a comprehensive assessment, identification of triggers, exploration of any co-existing mental health issues, and prevention of relapse. 

In addiction, the pursuit of pleasure frequently becomes a driving force, leading to a quest for understanding the reasons behind substance reliance. Acknowledging resulting harmful behaviors and health issues requires a multifaceted approach. Utilizing established psychotherapy techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness is pivotal in reshaping the connection between pleasure and substance use. 

The whole medical treatment process can be divided into two phases. The first phase of detoxification addresses the symptoms of withdrawal such as sleep disturbances, anxiety, physical pain, and related issues. The second phase is relapse prevention. The use of medications helps in the prevention of relapses as well as halts a person’s further deterioration when s/he relapses.

The adoption of a two-phase treatment approach, starting with stabilization and transitioning to maintenance, ensures a thorough strategy addressing both immediate challenges and the deeper roots of addictive behaviors. A huge percentage of people dealing with addiction also have mental health issues both due to the direct effect of the psychoactive substance and due to the life they are living due to addiction. These issues cause problems when one wants to come out of addiction.

Without addressing mental health issues, coming out of addiction is difficult. Mental health professionals help in this regard too.This holistic methodology involves ongoing follow-up and a steadfast commitment to preventing relapse, fostering collaboration between individuals and healthcare professionals throughout the journey of recovery.

The next step is involving and educating family members in the recovery process. Open communication becomes essential, allowing for honest discussions about the challenges and goals of the individual struggling with addiction. Mental health professionals address addiction as a psychosocial issue and address this component with equal importance.

Addressing harmful behavior and illness requires a meticulous examination of the consequences of addictive behavior on physical and mental health. Implementing harm reduction strategies becomes a crucial aspect of mitigating negative impacts during the recovery process. This approach, which goes beyond a focus solely on abstinence, includes education on safer use practices and the provision of resources to promote healthier behaviors.


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