What is addiction?
There are many definitions and models of addiction and all of these have some validity. Here at the Raymond Hader Clinic we like to keep it simple and think of addiction as something that consumes, “takes up” our whole life, our thoughts, emotions and activities.

Addiction is not simply being dependent on the drug or having a tolerance to it. Addiction is physical, but also psychological, emotional, biological, social and spiritual.


 

At the clinic, when we treat addiction, we deal with all these aspects and help the addict and their families to find hope and purpose to life.

People start using drugs for many reasons and want to stop for as many different reasons. Here at the clinic, we treat the patient and both the etiology and consequences of addiction rather than simply treat the disease.

Drug Use
All drug use has the potential to be dependent/addictive use. Continued regular use of any drug will cause tolerance and withdrawal syndrome on cessation of that use.

Tolerance & Withdrawal
Anyone can develop tolerance to any drug. Tolerance means that you must take more of the drug to feel the same effects you used to have with smaller amounts.

Withdrawal is what occurs when you cease using a particular drug and the symptoms of withdrawal are usually the opposite effect of the drug.

Craving
Cravings are a profound want for the particular drug that you are withdrawing and sometimes use of other drugs are supplemented to ease these cravings. In fact other drug use can increase the craving for the primary drug.

The Drugs we treat

Alcohol
The oldest known drug in our community. Alcohol is a depressant drug and the most widely used in Australia. Regular use of alcohol, like other drugs, can cause health, personal and social problems.

Amphetamines (Speed)
Amphetamines are a central nervous system stimulant and are manufactured illegally and usually appear as a white powder, crystals and occasionally in liquid form.

Tolerance, withdrawal syndrome and craving are likely with regular use of amphetamines. Drug induced psychosis is also associated with prolonged excessive use.

Speed poisoning and overdose can cause brain hemorrhage, heart attack, coma and death.

Cannabis
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in Australia. Other names for marijuana are: choof, mull, dope, pot, gunja, green.

The active chemical in cannabis is THC. Different parts of the plant contain high levels of THC. For example the flower or the buds have more THC than the stems or the leaves.

THC is both a central nervous system stimulant and depressant and is known to have hallucinogenic qualities. Hence its use being associated with drug induced psychosis. This is usually with people that may be predisposed to a psychiatric illness.

The effects of cannabis will vary depending on the individual.

Cocaine
Cocaine is a stimulant drug, which speeds up the brain and nervous system.

Cocaine comes from the leaves of the cocoa plant and is processed into mainly three different types. Cocaine Hydrochloride is a white powder and can be snorted or injected. This is the most common form in Australia.

Freebase Cocaine is alkaloidal cocaine, which can be smoked. Crack cocaine is a type of freebase cocaine sold in the form of small crystals or rocks and is usually smoked.

Designer Drugs (the Party Drugs)
Most, if not all-party drugs are central nervous system stimulants. The most common being MDMA (Ecstasy). Others include Methamphet (Ice, Crystal Meth), GHB, LSD (Acid) , Special K (commonly used in the Dance Club and Rave scenes).

These drugs are synthetic drugs usually sold in tablet form, liquid or as powder and can be snorted, injected or swallowed.

This type of drug use is on the increase and is incredibly dangerous to people’s health, both physically, mentally, emotionally and socially.

Overdose can occur and deaths have been related to overheating and dehydration. Psychosis is also likely with excessive, prolonged use.

Tolerance, withdrawals and craving are associated with prolonged use.

Heroin and other opiates
Opiates are depressant drugs, which slow down the brain and nervous system. Opiates are drugs that come from the opium poppy. Heroin is the most commonly known narcotic analgesic or opioid. Others include opium, morphine, codeine, pethadine, and methadone.

These drugs can all be used legally for medical reasons, but heroin is still illegal in Australia.

Heroin usually comes in a powder form, varying in colour, and can be pressed into a rock or lumpy powder. Heroin is usually injected with an increasing number of people smoking (burning) it.
If heroin is used frequently people will develop a tolerance and will suffer withdrawal symptoms if the drug use is ceased.

Minor Tranquilizers
Minor tranquilizers are depressant drugs and they slow down physical, mental and emotional responses and belong to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines.

Minor tranquilizers have both brand names and chemical names. The most common are diazepam (Valium), oxazepam (serepax), nitrazepam (mogadon), tempazepam (normison), flunitrazepam (rohypnol) and clonazepam (rivotril)

Dependence to benzodiazepines occurs with regular use and is one of the most difficult groups of drugs to withdraw from.

Other Addictions we treat include:
• gambling
• co-dependency
• eating disorders
• obsessive compulsive disorders
• sex & love addiction

 
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