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Addiction, personality and treatment

Addiction, personality and treatment



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Content

  • 1 What we mean by addiction
  • 2 Treatment of addictions
  • 3 Techniques for addiction treatment
  • 4 Prevention of relapse in addictions

What do we understand by addiction?

Addiction is a chronic disease., with an endless number of characteristics that as a whole disarm the personality of the individual, we could say that it is one of the most complex pathologies that can seriously compromise the development of a person within their social environment, family, work, society in general. Looking more deeply at the personality of an addict, we find one of the features that accentuate the degenerative behavior of the individual, but also develops more or less involuntarily, a high egocentrism.

The addict begins to believe that the world revolves around him, his desires and demands are the only ones worthy of considerationThe egocentric mind of an addict believes that he is capable of getting everything he wants if he is allowed to act as he pleases, that deception of total self-reliance can only flourish on a large scale in the sickly mind of an addict, a structure of thought of this type cannot conceive anything more important than itself, the only reason that motivates a mind with this pathology is to want what is wanted at the moment it is wanted, and nothing more; It is an obsession with himself, which is rooted in the very ground of his life. When an addict decides to stop his consumption, and begin a recovery process he will find a "mirror" that will make him see that the world does not revolve around him.

Addiction Treatment

The phases of a treatment for a person with an addiction consist of the stages of demand for treatment, evaluation, treatment and monitoring. In turn, within the treatment, six phases are distinguished: detoxification or maintenance; psychological cessation or achievement of substance withdrawal or stop doing the behavior; normalization, change of previous lifestyle and search for new alternative goals to addiction; relapse prevention; maintenance program or short, medium and long term support program; and, when necessary, controlled game program or harm reduction programs (e.g., in the heroin dependence). In addition, in this as in other disorders, and due to the problems associated with it, the psychologist has to launch all available therapeutic resources that our science provides us.

Addiction treatment techniques

Cognitive techniques

A. Distraction techniques. Get subjects to change their attention focus, from internal (eg automatic thoughts, memories, physical sensations) to external.

B. Flash cards. When desires are strong, the ability to reason objectively is lost. In these critical periods it can help you write coping phrases on cards. Examples: a flash card that includes the list of advantages of not taking drugs, a list of things that can be bought with money spent on drugs, coping phrases such as "You feel healthier when you do not take drugs"; “Things are going very well with my partner, keep it up!…

C. Imagination techniques

C.1. Refocus with imagination. It is about diverting the attention of internal craving by imagining external events. For this, the thought stop is used.

C.2. Negative Image Substitution. Frequently, in the first weeks of abstinence, subjects say they look or imagine consuming, dream of consumption. To prevent these images from acquiring a positive hue, it is useful for the patient to replace them with a negative image that refers to the unfortunate consequences of taking drugs.

C.3. Positive Image Substitution. A subject can experience very intense negative images about a problem situation that he may be living, eg family problems and can reach despair by imagining specific situations. Through positive images and advantages of not taking drugs, it allows hopelessness and, with it, desire to diminish.

C.4. Image review. It is used to prepare the subjects when it is known that they will have to face environments that can trigger or cause craving. Ex. Attend a formal party with alcohol after a year of abstinence from cocaine and alcohol, the review by imagination would consist of imagining that he was going to the party and saying when he was offered a drink: "No, thanks, I'll drink water" . As the image is worked, the anxiety will decrease.

C.5. Acquire mastery through imagination. Some subjects are afraid of not being able to tolerate their negative feelings and not being able to curb the urge to consume. Thus they can learn to have dominion through the imagination of these situations, seeing themselves as very strong and powerful people who overcome craving and impulses.

D. Rational responses to automatic thoughts related to impulses. It is very important to learn to master the automatic thoughts that are generated when experiencing craving and impulses. Thus, each time they experience intense desires or unpleasant emotions, it is convenient to help the patient identify what their automatic thoughts are and subsequently to their debate.

Examples: “If I don't consume something right now, I won't be able to go to work, I will lose my job”; "Without the drug, I will have my nerves shattered all day"; “I will not have a normal life anymore. I am a drug slave ”; "I just need to consume to get through the day."

E. Programming of activities. People with a long history of drug abuse often get involved only in activities centered around their use or search. Frequently, their entire social network is related to consumption, which means that they will have to break up with people, places and things associated with their previous lifestyle. The programming of activities serves to constructively structure the day and also allows revitalizing some of those old, fun activities that they had once enjoyed before the abuse occurred.

F. Relaxation training. An important tool that can be used to deal with emotions such as anxiety or anger, which, in some people, can trigger craving.

G. Training in the problem solving process. With this tool they will learn to deal with problems in a more realistic and less loaded with anxiety and fear.

Addiction relapse prevention

Once the addict has started abstinence, the attempt to overcome the addiction is long and complex, in which the first crises will soon arise.

It defines a relapse as any return to addictive behavior or previous lifestyle, after an initial period of withdrawal and change of lifestyle (at least one to three months). It would be distinguished from the slip or "fall" in that this would be a more punctual episode, the violation of a self-imposed rule (abstinence). Another distinction proposed by Marlatt (1985) between slip or "fall and relapse" is that the former is considered as a "foul"; the second as a step back, but never as a failure. This must be taken into account because the process of overcoming the drug addictions implies a temporal perspective, in which periods of withdrawal are interspersed with periods of crisis. For a drug cessation project to be consistent, relapses must appear increasingly distanced temporarily than withdrawal periods.

Three levels of intervention are distinguished for crisis situations that are operationalized within a framework of cognitive behavioral techniques.

to) Relapse prevention education: surrounding analysis; attitudes, thoughts and behaviors relapse history and action strategies before each of them (learning of coping strategies before the desire for consumption and external stimuli, creation of new environments, strategies to cope with the pressure for consumption, HHSS, disassembly of irrational thoughts, relaxation, self-reinforcement, goal setting ...)

b) Monitor high risk situations. Among them are: money management; Consumption of other substances; Leisure activities with known drug users; Tributes

c) Identification and control of a relapse process: Know the difference between Relapse and Occasional failure; Recognize that it is easier to trace a relapse as soon as possible is identified as such; Understand a relapse as a process.