Alcohol, Drugs and Gambling

Alcohol and other drug issues can often creep up on us. Its not uncommon to enjoy a glass of wine to unwind after a long day or to celebrate something wonderful. Drinking wine, engaging in the use of substances like cannabis or experiencing the highs that gambling may offer can be a very exciting form of stress relief but ultimately, the perceived  psychological benefits are short lived.

This pattern of behaviour is referred to as an excessive appetite which occurs when the desire to drink, gamble or use other substances is outweighed by a defined need to engage in these behaviours. When need overrides the desire, this can often be a alarm bell for excessive use which can produce problems in the way we manage our work-life balance and our relationships.

Excessive alcohol or other drug use or gambling typically doesn’t occur in isolation. Approximately 5% of Australians will experience substance abuse disorders in any 12-month period, with men more than twice as likely as women to have substance abuse disorders. People often report that their behaviour is in response to a set of stressors or triggers which have been briefly alleviated by alcohol, drug use or gambling. Treatment is usually suggested when an individual ceases to cope with day to day living as a result of the impact of their excessive appetite and its impact on other aspects of daily living.

If you’re unsure if your alcohol or other drug use or gambling is problematic, here are some common issues that people report when making the decision to seek treatment.

Common issues

  • Increased time off work due to hangovers or having been on a ‘binge’;
  • Avoiding situations where you are unable to drink or engage in a preferred substance or  behaviour;
  • A feeling of ‘missing’ the substance or behaviour when not using;
  • Feeling uncomfortable or alone without drugs or being unable to gamble;
  • Lying or not being honest with friends and family about how much time or money you spend; and
  • Getting into debt or spending money you can’t afford.

Where to start?

Many people report feeling embarrassed when they realise that they have ceased to manage the consequences of a particular behaviour or substance. This in turn makes the decision to engage with treatment rather daunting.

From the first point of contact, Louise Spencer will respond to you personally and confidentially. Louise will offer you a comprehensive assessment of your situation as the first milestone in your treatment planning. Louise will establish a non judgemental therapeutic relationship with you from the outset which will always commence with a thorough assessment. This will be underpinned by a collaborative approach to determining your goals for change and the strategies that will assist you in reaching your treatment goals. Louise offers a client centred counselling service that will equip you with a set of skills to successfully make the changes you want to achieve and will also provide you with strategies you can apply in your life moving forward.