Clutch your pearls and hose off your powdered apricot crotchet short shorts. It is party season! For some in our communities, a central element of partying is recreational drug use. While this can add a sense of fun to the festivities, there are obvious risks including addiction. Being human and given the way our brains are wired, recreational drug users can easily slip into addiction. Sometimes, without even knowing it. But there are strategies to ensure that you don’t go from harmless party fun to a crackostophy.
Paul Martin is the Senior Psychologist at the Centre for Human Potential.
Many in our communities have been psychologically damaged by people around us. This can happen to us as adults or children. This can cause some to go harder with drugs and alcohol than is helpful. Indeed, it can tip into abuse or dependency.
When you take drugs you usually feel good, even euphoric.
Drugs can mask insecurities in social situations. They can increase your sense of confidence, reduce anxiety and provide a break from depression. People also use drugs to heighten sexual experiences. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as free fabulousness. The brain balances itself out by making you feel the opposite not long after.
If you suffer from unaddressed underlying issues or strike an emotionally difficult situation, you might slip into increased drug use. Sadly, if any human takes enough of an addictive chemical regularly over a period of time, you’ll become addicted. That happens regardless of how high functioning and intelligent you are. A family history of dependence also increases your risk.
Controlling drug use during party season
Once the beginning of this process starts, the addicted part of the brain kicks in to override the rational part. The decisions your brain then makes are often different to those you made prior to regular drug use. This part of your brain also excels at denial and justifying stuff that negatively impacts important areas of your life.
If you experiment with drugs at party season but sneak a little more in between and it starts to increase, it is best to try to nip it in the bud before it gets worse. Even if you are very addicted and hiding it, it is important to know that there is no shame in this. It doesn’t mean you are an inherently defective human. Overcoming shame can be the first step in a positive change.
Speaking with a GP who you trust, who understands you, and who won’t judge will also help. If your drug use continues to be out of hand and impacts important areas such as work and relationships, it is worth getting in touch with a psychologist who has experience in this area.
So dust your bust, tease those mid-century wigs, and have a fabulous time in this party season!
A multi-disciplinary and culturally diverse mental health care practice, the values of Acceptance, Diversity & Inclusion underpin our business, with everyone in the company sharing a strong passion for facilitating transformational positive change in people’s lives.
Centre for Human Potential has provided quality counselling and coaching to clients and organisations since 2007.
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