Mark Hillman, Ph.D., (PSY) LMHC My Therapist is Making Me Nuts!Written by Mark Hillman

Take Me Away
From Troubled Times


Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Substance addiction is a psychological and often physiological process where we become dependent on a substance.

Addiction refers to a complex behavioral syndrome including abnormal importance of the drug or activity; use of the drug or activity to an extreme and often harmful degree; continued use or activity despite negative consequences; psychological defenses of denial, rationalization, minimization and projection of blame; and personality changes and life disruption as a consequence of use or activity.

Drug and alcohol addiction, or dependence, is defined as having at least 3 of the following signs:

  1. A tolerance for the drug or alcohol (needing increased amounts to achieve the same effect) withdrawal symptoms
  2. Ttaking the drug or alcohol in larger amounts than was intended or over a longer period of time than was intended
  3. Having a persistent desire to decrease or the inability to decrease the amount of the drug or alcohol consumed
  4. Spending a great deal of time attempting to acquire the drug or alcohol
  5. Continuing to use the drug or alcohol even though the person knows there are eoccurring physical or psychological problems being caused by the drug.
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