Category: Addictions

Compulsive Addictions

Compulsive gambling, overeating, shopping, sexual behaviour, internet use, and even TV watching all offer opportunities for addictive behaviours. Most compulsive addictions are officially called impulse control disorders. These are defined as “a failure to resist an impulse that is harmful to the individual or others but often starts out as pleasurable.” This generally involves an increase in tension or arousal before actually undertaking the act. This is then followed by gratification, pleasure, relief, and then remorse and guilt over the

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Sexual Compulsions

Compulsive gambling, overeating, shopping, exercise, internet use, and even TV watching all offer opportunities for individuals to develop addictive behaviours. This also applies to those who compulsively engage in repetitive sexual activities. The hallmark of impulse control disorders, including sexual compulsions, is a failure to resist an impulse that is harmful to the individual or others but often starts out as pleasurable. This also involves an increasing sense of tension or arousal before actually undertaking the behaviour, often followed by

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Crystal Meth: The Unpredictable Drug

It’s cheap, its powerful, and its scary. Crystal meth is a highly addictive drug that has made alarmingly rapid inroads into the local drug scene. Regional RCMP report that in 2003, crystal meth comprised 65 percent of all drugs seized from raves and nightclubs. After pot, it is considered the drug of choice for many teens. Crystal meth is just one of many street names for the powerful nervous system stimulant methamphetamine. Other popular names include Speed, Glass, Ice, Crank,

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My First Meeting

What follows are the comments of an alcoholic who recently attended his first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. We have inserted occasional comments (in italics) to help the reader better understand the purpose behind his experience. I have just attended my first AA meeting. I didn’t really want to go because I don’t think I drink all that much. My wife, doctor, and counsellor all seem to think I do so I went primarily to get them off my back. To

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When Your Loved One Is Addicted

Families and caregivers know how difficult it is to cope with a loved one who abuses alcohol or drugs. It is important to realize that family members cannot stop their relative’s substance abuse. They can, however, avoid covering it up or doing things that make it easy for the relative to continue the denial. Families can learn what they can do about the problem, but they must be realistic that much of it is out of their hands. The following

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How Serious is Adolescent Drug Use?

The early adolescent years are a time of special vulnerability for later drug use and abuse. It is at this stage in their lives when many adolescents begin to experiment with various “gateway” chemicals that may eventually lead to drug use problems. These “gateway” drugs include alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and inhalants. Many parents have a tendency to equate any drug use as a sign of a current or future drug abuse problems; in the vast majority of cases, however, limited

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