Substance Misuse or Abuse

Substance using behaviour varies broadly, from no use (approximately 5 - 15% of the population) to severe dependence (approximately 1 - 5% of the population).

On a physical level, movement into the problematic end of the continuum is marked by two factors: tolerance (needing larger amounts of a substance in order to get the same high), and withdrawal (experiencing physical after-effects when coming down from a high).

At a practical level, progression into a high-risk relationship with substances is marked by problems: problems at school or work, problematic relationships with friends or family members, legal problems, financial problems, emotional problems - such as mood swings and diminished self-esteem - and physical problems that can eventually become life-threatening health concerns.

While only a relatively small percentage of the population can be said to be 'addicted' or severely substance dependent, a large number of us will experience problems related to our use of substances at different times in our lives.

Counselling can offer a space to honestly explore our relationship to alcohol or other substances, in an environment that is supportive, non-judgmental, and empowering.

To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.

- Soren Kierkegaard



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