In the medical aspect, we can talk about dependence on any substance or behavior pattern if there is a loss of control over the intake of the substance or over the implementation of the behavior pattern, that is, if a person regularly consumes more alcohol or takes more pills than he actually wants.
An example of such an addiction, which belongs to the category of behavioral (non-chemical) addiction, is workaholism.
- Increasing tolerance, or habituation, means the need for more and more of the addicted substance to get the same effect;
- The freedom of action of the patient is strongly limited;
- Loss of control: the patient loses the freedom to decide whether to take the drug or not, and how much; he ends up consuming more than he planned;
- Obsessive desire, craving to constantly search for a narcotic substance;
- Physical withdrawal syndrome, or withdrawal syndrome: increased sweating, circulatory collapse, imbalance of the autonomic system, accompanied by panic attacks;
- The obsession of all the interests of the patient on the consumption of the narcotic substance and continued consumption despite the obviously negative, harmful effect.
First, the so-called poison removal treatment is carried out: the body again gets used to functioning without the drug substance, without suffering from the withdrawal syndrome.
The first step in the weaning process is an attempt to understand what function a narcotic substance performs for a sick person in each specific case. For example, is the object of addiction a means of encouragement (well, now - I deserve my drink!) or it helps to overcome pain or insomnia, or helps to make difficult life circumstances more bearable, etc.
Next step - development of a strategy with which you can achieve the goal without using the object of dependence.
And finally, we are talking about addiction relapse prevention - in what moments of the specific everyday life of the patient is danger lurking? What does a relapse early warning system look like? What measures to take in an emergency?
aim is to achieve a state of permanent "positive withdrawal", a form of rejection of the object of addiction, which does not require constant effort and is easily achieved in everyday life.