An addiction is a continued involvement with or attachment to a substance or activity despite the negative consequences associated with it. Initially, the substance or activity brings pleasure, enjoyment or relief from actual or perceived ailments; however, over a period of time, regular involvement with the substance or activity is needed to feel normal. Addictions often preoccupy a large proportion of the individuals life such that other important areas are neglected.

Today addictions are viewed in a broader sense that was previously limited to substances. Some common addictions are to:

  • alcohol, tobacco, heroin, caffeine and other drugs
  • gambling
  • video games, computers, internet, watching tv
  • food, dieting
  • sex, pornography, idolizing
  • work
  • exercise, adrenaline
  • self-injury
  • shopping
In order to be classified as an addiction there are usually these characteristics:
  • Long periods of high-level use of the substance or engaging in the activity
  • Preoccupation with the substance or activity
  • Loss of control when using the substance or engaging in the activity
  • Increase in use of the substance or engaging in the activity in the face of negative consequences
  • Greater amounts of the substance or activity are required over time to achieve the initial effect (Tolerance)
  • Inability to stop even in the face of a strong desire to abstain
  • Withdrawal from regular use of the substance or engaging in the activity results in adverse physical symptoms
  • Relapse is a common occurance as a part of addiction recovery
In therapy, we often look at what needs are being met by the addiction and exploring those needs fully. We also seek to find alternative ways to meet those needs. Often the substance or activity is ineffectively dealing with the exact needs that are present. Therapy can help you meet these needs in healthier ways and gain control back of your life.

Momentum Counselling is not equipped to serve as a detox unit but instead is a part of a process requiring the help of other professionals.