All About Drug Abuse problems and How to Overcome them with Psychological Therapy & Counselling


What is Drug Abuse?

Drug Abuse has been a global problem for several hundred years and shows little sign of diminishing.

Typically when people think about the phrase drug abuse they picture Heroin users injecting with dirty needles.

However, it may surprise you to know that research into the harmful nature of drug use in the UK showed that alcohol was by far the most harmful drug to individuals, inter-personal relationships, the country’s economy and the social fabric.

You can access the drugs harm research paper here.

Moreover, there is very little appetite for banning the sale of alcohol, especially when you consider the scale of the tax revenue it generates for governments.

Many people, of course, are able to use recreational drugs such as tobacco, alcohol, cannabis or cocaine without developing abusive relationships with them or suffering any negative consequences.

For some users though, it can become a significant problem with the potential to destroy lives.


Common Indicators of Drug Abuse

If you recognise any of these behaviours in yourself, then you may have a drug abuse problem:

  • Your substance abuse is starting to become more important than your home life, work or schooling and you are starting to neglect your responsibilities.
  • You are taking risks whilst using your drugs, for example driving whilst under the influence.
  • You are having problems with the law, for example being arrested for disorderly behaviour or convictions for theft through trying to obtain funds for buying your drugs.
  • Your relationships are falling apart due to fights or disagreements which may be frivolous.
  • You need larger quantities of drugs to get the hit that you used to get with smaller quantities.
  • You are starting to experience more severe withdrawal symptoms when you are without your drug such as nausea, depression or anxiety.
  • You feel “powerless” to keep the amount of drugs you’re using to a level you can control.
  • Your primary focus has shifted to using your drug and you may have quit doing the things you used to enjoy such as socialising or keeping fit.

Once you’re ready to face your drug abuse problem then you have already taken the first important step towards solving it and can move towards seeking a solution.

Drug Abuse Woman on Sofa

Using Drugs to Cope

You may be using drugs as a form of coping strategy, particularly when things feel overwhelming.

Unfortunately, if you do use drugs as a substitute for coping on a more consistent basis, things can easily get out of your control.

There are a multitude of reasons why you might try out drugs, often this can be due to peer pressure during your adolescence and the need to belong to the right group.

Sometimes drug abuse offers a way for you to escape from some previous traumatic experiences.

It does not necessarily follow that your drug use will lead automatically to a state of addiction because your character, personality and life history can play important roles in determining your susceptibility to addictive behaviours.

However, if your drug use IS having a negative effect on your life or the life of your loved-ones, then it is likely that you have a drug abuse problem.


Addiction – Behaviour or Illness?

Addiction, along with many other human behaviours, has been classified as a mental illness.

This is in part due to the idea that chemical hooks contained in addictive substances act on the biology of the user rendering them incapable of stopping using their will power alone.

In this way addiction is situated as a property of the substance being abused itself rather than as a human behaviour.

This notion, however, raises a number of issues, including;

Why don’t all alcohol drinkers develop addiction problems?

– The chemicals in alcohol are the same for all drinkers aren’t they?.

How do some people find it relatively easy to quit smoking cigarettes and other struggle year upon year?

– They’re both using the same addictive nicotine aren’t they?

Gieven these points, it seems reasonable to conclude that the current addiction model fails to match what is generally observed in society – that the vast majority of people do NOT develop addictive relationships with the so-called addictive substances.


Psychosocial Factors in Drug Abuse

As is the case with almost all psychological problems, the degree of vulnerability to drug abuse is determined by personal factors such as the quality of your early nurturing environment, personality type, social conditioning and any previous mental health problems you may have had.

Psychosocial factors may include:-

  • Exposure to drug abuse in the family setting.
  • Childhood emotional traumas and abuse.
  • Other prevailing psychological problems such as Depression or Anxiety.
  • Using drugs at an early age.

It is important to point out that even if you were exposed to these factors that it does not necessarily follow that you will develop a drug abuse problem.

Drug Abuse sufferer in therapy session

Therapy & Counselling for Drug Abuse

We offer a number of different types of therapy and counselling for drug abuse and drug-related problems.

Choosing the most suitable therapy depends on a number of different considerations including factors such as:

  • How long you have had the problem.
  • Your personal preferences.
  • How your problem is affecting you today.

You can read more about the different types of therapy for drug-realted problems on the following links:

Although all therapies use slightly different approaches, the one thing they all have in common is the relationship that is formed between the client and therapist.

Research suggests that this therapy relationship may be the most important factor in achieving a good therapy outcome.


Could Reality Therapy Be Right For You?

Reality Therapy is an approach which argues that your drug abuse problems are a product of the way that you think internally and not the result of any biological mechanisms such as those used in the addiction model.

It also argues that any past experiences which you may believe are the cause of your drug use are no longer influential because those situations are no longer happening and therefore do not exist.

By teaching you how to take responsibility for the way that you feel, Reality Therapy can help you to stop creating the anxiety and stress associated with your problems as well as significantly improve the sense of control you have over the trajectory of your life going forward.

Free initial consultations for Drug abuse probelms

Arrange your FREE initial consultation here.

If you’d like to find out more about overcoming drug abuse or recovering from any of your mental health problems then why not arrange a free initial consultation with us.

During this consultation we will discuss your particular issues and the different types of mental health counselling we offer without you having to commit to any counselling going forward.

The consultation lasts around 50 minutes and is a great opportunity to meet with either Paul or Joan and decide if you would like to proceed with any support.

Links to More Information

These links take you to other resources on the web.

Drug Addiction on the NHS website


Applied Psychology Solutions

If you’d like to learn how to overcome drug abuse problems but dislike the idea of having “therapy”, then why not learn how to change the way you make sense of your experiences and the World around you with the CORE Programme.

If you believe that your problems are the result of what has happened to you and not because there is something wrong with you, then this is the solution you’ve been looking for.

Not Ready to Commit to Therapy Quite Yet?

Then why not see if you can solve your own problems using our comprehensive, Online Self-Help CBT course.


Written especially for people who prefer not to engage with a therapist before first doing everything they can to overcome their problems themselves.

Mirroring our in-house course of CBT, it contains everything that you need to know to tackle mental health challenges for only £149.

How About Hypnotherapy?

There are numerous ways to overcome and cope with mental health problems and Hypnotherapy is an increasingly popular approach.

If you’d like to find out more about Hypnotherapy for Drug Abuse then click here to visit our sister website Wolverhampton Hypnotherapy.

Counselling Locations

We offer counselling for drug abuse problems for people living in:

  • Wombourne
  • Wolverhampton
  • West Midlands
  • Shropshire
  • South Staffordshire
  • Telford
  • Shrewsbury

You can also access our services around the World using online therapy with Paul.