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Drug Addiction and Mental Health


Drug Addiction

Drug addiction occurs when an individual regularly uses a drug to alter their mental and physical state. It is a complicated issue that may be characterized by a psychological dependence, physical dependence or a combination of both. Psychological dependence is when a person feels that the use of a substance is required to function, relax, or cope with daily life. Physical dependence occurs when a person’s body has been habituated to a drug, and more of the substance is needed to produce the desired effect. Continued use causes physiological changes to the body and brain, so that the individual develops a need for the substance. This need can cause severe withdrawal symptoms when drug usage stops.



A pattern of drug use can lead to harmful behaviour and severe consequences to the individual and to family and friends. Mood issues often arise, ranging from anxiety, anger, irritability, agitation and/or depression. A person suffering from dependency issues may have trouble thinking about activities of daily living, and fail to meet responsibilities at work, school or home. Financial and legal issues often arise as well. Relationships with family and friends become strained, and the individual may push away those who care about them most.



There is a wide scope of treatment options for those suffering from substance abuse issues. Each individual is different, and our team treats every person with a specifically targeted approach. Treatment modalities may include harm reduction or abstinence. Addictions often exist simultaneously with other mental health issues, such as trauma, depression, or anxiety. Family and couples counselling are also encouraged when faced with addiction issues, as a strong support system is needed when overcoming substance abuse.  Dalton Associates has addiction counsellors throughout Ontario, so drug addiction treatment and recovery options are available in your home community. Contact us to connect with the support you need.



Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (2013). Drug Use/Addiction. Retrieved from:


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