An alcoholic may drink to the detriment of their health and contribute to their own mental and emotional destruction. Alcoholics can suffer blackouts and binge drink for days. Sometimes they can stop for a while only to discover, when they start drinking again, that they drink the same amount and often more than when they stopped. Alcoholism is a progressive disease. Drinking is the great remover for an alcoholic: it removes self-esteem, relationships and careers.
When the alcoholic hits the end of the road, their ‘rock bottom’, they can begin the road to recovery in the safe, therapeutic environment of Oasis.
Drug addiction is the inability to stop the urge to take drugs, despite the dangerous consequences that are both physical and mental. Drug addiction can cause personal, family and career difficulties and even legal concerns. The user will put his drug of choice before his/her own interests and safety.
On arrival at Oasis the client will be checked to see if they need to undergo detoxification. Withdrawal from some drugs may need medical supervision.
Self harm addiction is just as powerful as all the other compulsive behaviours, such as overindulgence in gambling, and drug abuse. A self-harmer or a cutter is someone who engages in deeds that causes physical injury to their body. Find out more about self harm treatment below.
The results of self-harm symptoms leave permanent scars on the body, which the sufferer may be proud of when immersed in their addiction
A self-harm condition does not discriminate race, gender, culture or creed, although young women seem to suffer most commonly from this particular disorder. It is often accompanied by other addictive tendencies, especially eating and drug problems.
Cutting becomes a way to escape intense emotions which an addict is unable to process or cope with in a healthy way. Treatment for this addiction usually involves counselling, and a period of in-patient therapy may be recommended.
Counselling will help cutters to overcome feelings of self-loathing or low self-esteem. The peer support found in group sessions may be especially effective in this regard, helping to boost confidence.
You’ve probably heard of sex addiction, but you might be surprised to know that there’s debate about whether it’s truly an addiction and that it’s not really even about sex. “That’s a common misconception.” says Rory Reid, PhD, LCSW, a research psychologist at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behaviour. “It is no more about sex than an eating disorder is about food or pathological gambling is about money.”
Sex addicts, in other words, are not simply people who crave lots of sex. Instead, they have underlying problems — stress, anxiety, depression, shame — that drive their often risky sexual behaviour. “Those are some of the core issues that you start to see when you treat someone with sex addiction.” says John O’Neill, LCSW, LCDC, CAS, CART, a certified addiction counselor at the Menninger Clinic in Houston. “You can’t miss those pieces.”
Sex addiction won’t be in the upcoming edition of the DSM-5, which is used to diagnose mental disorders. That doesn’t mean that it’s not a very real problem.
“People are going to seek help and there doesn’t need to be a diagnosable condition for them to get help.” Reid says. “If they are suffering, we want to help them.”
Reid and many other experts prefer the term ‘hypersexual disorder‘ rather than ‘sex addiction‘. By either name, it’s about people who keep engaging in sexual behaviors that are damaging them and/or their families. As examples, Reid cites men who spend half their income on prostitutes and office workers who surf the web for porn despite warnings that they’ll lose their job if they keep it up.
“Who does that? Somebody with a problem.” Reid says.
That problem puts so much at risk: their personal lives, their social lives, their jobs and, with the threat of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, their health. Despite the danger, they return to the same behaviours over and over, whether it’s Internet porn, soliciting sex workers, ceaselessly seeking affairs, masturbating or exposing themselves in public or any number of other acts.
“I see in them an inability to stop what they’re doing.” O’Neill says. “They’re preoccupied; their brain just keeps going back to it. It often leads to loneliness and isolation. There’s such intense shame and pain.”
Frequently, a crisis convinces them to seek treatment, Reid says. They’re caught in the act by a spouse, fired from their job or arrested for soliciting sex from prostitutes. For some people, the crisis brings relief from distress caused by their behaviour and constant fear of being discovered. “The world comes crashing down.” says Reid.” and some say, ‘I’m glad that I got caught.’”
There are no reliable estimates of how many people have the disorder. Some studies suggest that it’s more common in men, and gay men in particular, than women.
Eating disorders affect millions of people worldwide. More common than most people think, these disorders are progressive and display the same characteristics as any other addiction whereby the sufferer is trapped in a helpless cycle of obsessive and compulsive behaviour, unable to break free of the need to escape their feelings of obsessive control.
Although there are different forms of eating disorders, the three most common and life-threatening types are Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and compulsive over-eating. However, most patients display traits of all three types as the root problem and this is generally the same in all sufferers, yet the action of dealing with these compulsions may be different.
These disorders are identifiable by obsessive and compulsive behaviour, but treating a food addictions can be a difficult task, as one cannot be abstinent from food. Below, read more about Oasis’ approach to the treatment of eating disorders.
Compulsive gambling shows many of the characteristics of other addictions. We have developed a special Twelve Step abstinence orientated programme to deal with this problem.
Compulsive gambling starts out as recreational and slowly progresses to the point where it has serious consequences for both the gambler and their family.
As with any other addiction, compulsive gambling is threefold in nature: mental, physical and spiritual, with its main symptom being that of denial and its major characteristic loss of control. The compulsive gambler frequently spends more time and money gambling than they intended and are unable to reliably predict when they will stop once they have started.
An overriding passion that dominates all aspects of life. The preoccupation transforms the gambler into a withdrawn and moody person
Not being able to stop or limit the amount of gambling once he/she has started
Despite the negative consequences
To chase losses
To stop that are not sustained over a long period of time
Gambling in response to negative emotions such as stress and depression
Most compulsive gamblers report that they had a large win early in their gambling.
This winning leads to fantasies about winning more and an attitude that gambling is a quick and easy way of earning additional income.
The losing phase is when the gambler loses more than they can afford and then attempts to recover their losses by chasing losses in the hope of winning back the money.
The desperation phase is when the gambler gets into the vicious cycle of occasionally winning, chasing losses and then suffering more losses.
Irrational gambling begins, as does the downward spiral. (someone already in debt will borrow money or take money out of the house bond to gamble). The size and frequency of bets increase and bigger debts are accumulated until rock bottom is reached.
We believe that the only effective treatment is absolute abstinence and a process of self-discovery and growth which empowers the gambler to deal with life effectively and without resorting to any compulsive behaviour. Both the gambler and the family also need ongoing support to deal with the consequences of gambling and to prevent relapse.
The inpatient programme at Oasis Drug Treatment Centre provides the foundation for this long but very rewarding process of recovery.
Co-dependence can be defined as an emotional addiction on another person. Sufferers are prone to being in toxic relationships. They are unlikely to be attracted to healthy partners. Often they choose unreliable and emotionally unavailable partners, who they try to control and change, putting the other person’s needs above their own. When one relationship ends they tend to be attracted to the same type of partner as before and repeat the same choices and behaviours in the next relationship. Often the partner of choice is an alcoholic or addict. The life of the sufferer of relationship difficulties is unbalanced and unmanageable, as their existence is wholly defined by the emotions and behaviour of another person.
When their relationships overwhelm them, they can get the help they need at Oasis Counselling Centre.
Medication abuse can be difficult to track as the addict often has an ostensibly justifiable reason to take the drugs. Taking across the counter, or prescription medicine, is legal and commonplace so it does not appear a risk. However, long term abuse does bring consequences.
When a patient takes medication without following a doctor’s instructions, it may be the start of prescription drug abuse. Increasing the dosage without consulting a medical practitioner to gain more or quicker efficacy from the drug is a common practise. Then the patient may begin to take the medication for unrelated symptoms. For example, they may take the prescription drug to aid sleep or to lessen stress when the medication is actually for pain relief. Dependency begins as the patient needs the drug to feel normal or to avoid withdrawal symptoms such as sweating and nausea.
At Oasis Recovery Centre, we treat medication abuse similarly to other addictions. On arrival the patient will see a doctor and psychiatrist to help them through a detoxification process as safely as possible. They will attend all the therapeutic and holistic activities on the timetable.
They will be allocated a focal counsellor for one-to-ones and attend group therapy where they will be assisted in getting behind the addiction to find the core reasons why they use.
They will be helped to learn about their behaviours, and to discover useful tools to help them live a normal, productive life free from prescription drugs for when they return home.