Australia Has a Serious Addiction Problem
Addiction is defined as the act of being addicted to a specific substance or behavior. In psychology, addiction is defined as “a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry.” (American Society of Addiction Medicine, 2018). This is further characterized by an inability to abstain with consistency from the substance or behavior. Without treatment and recovery activities, addiction is a serious problem that is progressive and can lead to disability or death.
Addiction in Australia
For Australia, the addiction problem is one of the country’s greatest issues. There are literal millions of Australians and their families that are struggling with a wide range of issues related to substance abuse and use. Unfortunately, for many, they do not receive treatment. There are always challenges to treatment, but it is available. This will be discussed at the end of this post.
For Australia, alcohol is one of the greatest dangers. In fact, nearly 6,000 people die each year from alcohol related incidents. That averages one person every 90 minutes each day. Too often, people overlook the dangers of drinking because it is legal, but alcohol is just as dangerous and addictive as illegal drugs or illicit drug use.
Alcohol can inhibit decision making abilities and puts great strain on the body, yet it is culturally acceptable. Even binge drinking has become a popular pastime for many. This can lead to a lifelong dependence. In Australia, binge drinking is defined as 6 drinks in two hours for men and four for women.
Australia also has an issue with illegal drug use given the relatively small population size. Though marijuana is still the most commonly used drug, ecstasy, hallucinogens, and amphetamines are also popular. Close to three million people have tried ecstasy and that does not include the other drugs that fall into the hallucinogen or amphetamine categories.
The problem is that many people see overcoming addiction as something that requires only willpower. The truth is that overcoming addiction takes much more than willpower to overcome and stay clean long term. Addiction is actually a biological response by the body. For some drugs and individuals, a single use will leave the body craving more.
Though legal, it is possible to become addicted to prescription drugs or to use them in an illegal manner. This is a problem in Australia. One study showed that as of 2017, doctors in Australia were writing 14 million opioid painkiller prescriptions annually. While this may not seem like a bad thing, about a tenth of people who take opioid painkillers, will become addiction or dependent. This translates to 1.4 million people in Australia alone who are addicted to pain killers. The saddest part is the prescriptions likely started as a real need for pain relief. While this is not true for all as some people doctor shop to gain access to these drugs, many had a real need.
People tend to underestimate the danger of opioid prescriptions because they come from a doctor for a real need. Just because something is medically useful, does not ensure safety. In 2015 it was found that well over half of drug related deaths in Australia were due to prescription opioids.
What to Do
With temptation running rampant in Australia, it can be tough to abstain. This is especially true when the drug of choice is a prescription or legal, such as alcohol. Some may even see minor drugs such as marijuana as harmless, even though it is illegal. This can easily lead to addiction and the issues that arise with an addiction.
Some may feel that the best way to escape addiction is to simply stay away. While an environmental change can be helpful, professional help is often required. That is where an in-patient facility can be greatly beneficial.
Seeking Help at DARA
If you or a loved one is suffering with an addiction of any type, consider DARA as an option for help. DARA is one of the top in-patient rehab facilities in the area with multiple locations in Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland, Sydney, and others.
On average, a stay at DARA lasts between 6 and 12 weeks to help face the addiction issues in your life. DARA provides a luxury, resort style facility with amenities that will help you heal and be comfortable at affordable rates. Whether you are drawn purely by the need for help, the rates, or the beautiful views, DARA can provide you with the best. Each and every patient receives treatment that includes physical, spiritual, and mental aspects to get a good start on the road to recovery.
DARA focuses on cognitive behavioral therapy, also called CBT. CBT is a form of therapy that helps an individual identify specific behaviors and then the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make up those behaviors. Once these are identified, a change in the thought process can lead to changes in life.
In addition to CBT, DARA uses physical activity and nutrition to help each patient heal from the inside out. A part of most addictions is a lack of self-care. This lack of self-care can lead to vitamin deficiencies poor eating, and lack of exercise. At DARA, top chefs in the area prepare daily meals and some form of physical activity is required each day. Activities such as swimming, yoga, and time in the gym are likely options. As the mind heals from the addiction, the body can begin to heal as well.
There are also weekly times of meditation and massages are offered three times a week for every patient. These are designed to both help patients relax and to release toxins from the body that have built up from drug and/or alcohol use and abuse. An additional education component about addiction is included to help individuals understand how addiction develops and continues.
The key to the success of DARA centers is the combination of these treatments and some time away from people and places in which drugs or alcohol are present. If you or a loved one is suffering with an addiction, call DARA to gain further information or set up a stay.
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