Addictions or drug abuse

  • Do you have a problem with drinking or substance use or a behaviour like gambling?
  • Has your drinking or substance use been excessive, out of control, caused problems at home or at work or with the law?

You might think (or at least say) that you are ok with your alcohol and drug use or with the gambling or another all-consuming behaviour. You tell yourself that you are in control. But really, you are not.

You may have started using substances (or an addictive behaviour) for fun. After a while, it was not as much fun anymore. It’s something you have to do to feel comfortable. If you stop using the substance or engaging in the behaviour, you start to feel dreadful. But denial is tough to overcome and it’s hard to own up to the problem.

One simple test of whether you might have an alcohol or drug problem is the CAGE questionnaire:

Cutback: Has anyone ever recommended that you cutback or stop your drinking or drug use?

Anger: Have you ever become annoyed or angry if someone comments on your drinking or drug use?

Guilt: Are there times when you felt guilty or regretful for something that occurred because you were drinking or using drugs?

Eye opener: Have you ever used alcohol or other drugs to get you started in the morning or to steady your nerves?

If you answered yes to even 2 of these questions, it’s worth thinking about whether you have a problem.

  • Each individual with  an addiction has unique characteristics and should be thoroughly assessed. 
  • Every person suffering from an addiction would benefit from connecting with a skilled psychotherapist.

Blog posts on this topic

Humour in Recovery

This is the fifth in a series of blogs contributed by our PM clinician Gregory Rennie, who will introduce you to various aspects of addiction and its treatment using psychotherapy.  Gregory provides access to collaborative care with PM psychiatrists via the Psychotherapy … Continue reading →

Neuroscience of Addiction

This is the fourth in a series of blogs contributed by our PM clinician Gregory Rennie, who will introduce you to various aspects of addiction and its treatment using psychotherapy.  Gregory provides access to collaborative care with PM psychiatrists via the Psychotherapy … Continue reading →

Addiction Relapse: One Step Back, Two and Three Steps Toward Recovery

This is the third in a series of blogs contributed by our PM clinician Gregory Rennie, who will introduce you to various aspects of addiction and its treatment using psychotherapy.  Gregory Rennie provides access to collaborative care with PM psychiatrists via the Psychotherapy … Continue reading →

What is Addiction?

This is the second in a series of blogs contributed by our PM clinician Gregory Rennie, who will introduce you to various aspects of addiction and its treatment using psychotherapy.  Gregory Rennie provides access to collaborative care with PM psychiatrists via the … Continue reading →

Substance Use Enabling: Cause or Effect?

This is the first in a series of blogs contributed by our PM clinician Gregory Rennie, who will introduce you to various aspects of addiction and its treatment using psychotherapy.  Gregory Rennie provides access to collaborative care with PM psychiatrists via the … Continue reading →

20 Reasons for Ambivalence in Psychotherapy

Everyone comes to therapy at different levels of readiness to change their behaviour.  The first step in therapy is often to explore your conflicting feelings about change.  The list that follows will help you to start thinking about the sources of your … Continue reading →