The process of addiction is gradual. One may be able to notice as they lose control while other times it takes family, friends and workmates to be able to notice that one is struggling with an addiction. Addiction simply starts with tasting or trying a drug of abuse, this is usually described as the Experimental stage. Here, the drug is seen as fun and most users are first time users mostly under peer pressure or just trying to look for pleasure.
Once the pleasure principal is attained it is possible for one to continue using and thus becoming a social user, where the drug has not taken priority over other life activities and experiences. In social use, the urge to use only comes at social gatherings or occasions where the drug is made available. If one is not careful and continues to use, this grows into instrumental use. In this sense, the drug is used to handle or fulfill a specific purpose. Often attached to an emotional trigger, e.g. anger, frustration, guilt and heart breaks or a physical trigger like finding pleasure or getting high.
With little or zero attention to the situation this slowly fuels a habitual use; as the urge to feel pleasure or to avoid an emotional pain happens more often. Someone’s life starts being affected, from work places, to home and slowly his/her health and relationships. One is not yet consider dependent, for he/she still has a choice or a chance to allow change if the right steps and measures to deal with thought processes are considered.
When the habitual use develops into compulsive use and one gets to experience an overwhelming physical and psychological desire to use and shows signs of having developed physical and psychological dependence on the drug of use, this attributes to addiction.
At this point it is good to speak to a mentor, parent, friend, pastor or partner about the process, it has to be someone one confides in, as addiction success stories can never be handled with pressure, it takes personal conviction for the addiction process to work. Together with family and friends or workmates one can then seek professional help from either a therapist/counselor/psychologist and be able to determine a useful way forward.
Free hearts Uganda, through the leadership of Dr. Chris Kigezo, has a 7am – 6pm open enquires policy for consultation and advice on how to handle any of the mentioned changes. This is with guided conversations of possible environment change, absorption into a rehabilitation, arranged intervention or family based Cognitive Behavioral therapy. Free hearts Uganda will help in making a lifesaving decision for a struggling addict or one getting into addiction.
Contact Free Hearts Uganda on Telephone: +256772373745 / +256775058680 / +256756525842 or visit the center at our location in Nabbingo, Kampala – Masaka highway for detailed guidance on anything addiction and how to handle and care for an addict and what kind of treatment plan fits right for specific situations.
Complied and Written by: Free Hearts Uganda