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Substance addiction

By: Sarah Walsh

Updated: 03 August 2016

Substance addiction

We might think that substance addiction is a sign of weakness or a lack of willpower, but this is not the case.

Addiction can affect anyone of us, and those in our lives.

If you are living with substance addiction and could benefit from talking to a member of a team, please book today.

Substance addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterised by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. 

It is considered a ‘brain disease’ because drugs or alcohol change the brain; they change its structure and how it works. These brain changes can be long-lasting and can lead to many harmful, often self-destructive, behaviours.

People often associate substance addiction or abuse with illegal drugs only. However, this is not the case, as alcohol, nicotine and prescription drugs are all included in substance addiction.

Alcohol is best understood as a drug that reduces a person’s ability to think rationally and distorts his/her judgement. It can also be classified as a depressant.

Healthy Ireland Survey 2015 found that “Four out of ten drinkers in Ireland drink to harmful levels on a monthly basis, with over a fifth doing so on a weekly basis” and the World Health Organisation discovered Ireland has the second-highest rate of binge drinking in the world.

Substance Addiction has many physical and psychological effects on those affected, family and friends but also the wider community. Substance addiction leads to a plethora of social problems such as crime and homelessness and also the “hidden harm”.

“Hidden Harm” is the trauma that is caused to other persons other than the addict such as close friends or family, children are those that suffer acutely from substance addiction which can cause a large amount of emotional distress.

There is always treatments or solutions to these problems, effectively dealing with life/peer pressure will eliminate the need to turn to drugs, people being overworked or overwhelmed often feel like they need a break or a coping mechanism.

Mental health difficulties and substance abuse often go hand-in-hand.

Those struggling with mental health wellbeing may turn to drugs as a way to ease or suppress the pain.

Those suffering from some form of mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder should seek the help of a trained professional for treatment before it leads to substance abuse.

Here at MyMind, we can help if you are experiencing substance addiction issues or mental health issues.

If you are suffering from substance abuse or you know of someone who is affected and you need help to deal with it, please contact us at MyMind. Get in touch today at hq@mymind.org or call us at 076 680 1060.

We have a range of professionals with various approaches who concentrate on substance addiction who can help.

To book with MyMind today, simply click the button below.


Stephen Watkins Psychologist Location: Online

Approach: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Works with: Individual Session , Couples

Specialities: Addiction , Anger , Anxiety , Bereavement / Loss , Depression , Personal Development , Relationship issues , Self-Esteem , Stress , Trauma

Next avaialble appointment: 11:00 21 June 2024

Gabriela Cestari Manieri Psychologist Location: Dublin 6

Approach: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) , Other

Works with: Individual Session , Children & Adolescents

Specialities: Anxiety , Addiction , Depression , Eating Disorder / Body Image , Personality disorder , Relationship issues , Stress , Trauma

Next avaialble appointment: 14:00 20 June 2024

Rachel McCarthy Psychotherapist Location: Online

Approach: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) , Person-Centred Therapy , Psychodynamic Therapy , Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy , Mindfulness

Works with: Individual Session

Specialities: Work Issues, Work/Life balance , Suicidal Ideation / Self Harm , Stress , Sexuality (LGBTQIA+) , Self-Esteem , Self Care , Relationship issues , Personal Development , Isolation / Loneliness , Eating Disorder / Body Image , Domestic Violence / Abuse , Addiction , Anger , Anxiety , Bereavement / Loss , Trauma , Depression

Next avaialble appointment: 19:00 24 June 2024

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