The use of various substances, such as alcohol or caffeine, etc., in order to change mood and behavior is allowed in most parts of the world. But where do we draw the line and declare substance use a mental disorder?
Pathological substance use can be considered, when as a consequence of its reception there are symptoms and maladaptive behavior that would be considered extremely undesirable in any cultural group. Addiction is defined as a disorder whose main feature is a complex of mental, behavioral and physical symptoms that indicate that the person has a decrease in the ability to control the use of the psychoactive substances and continues to use it despite the negative consequences.
Dependence on various substances contributes to the general deterioration of the patient’s physical condition and can cause pathological complications and physiological mental disorders.
Obviously, there is no single factor that determines why some people develop these disorders and others do not. Different factors such as genetic predisposition, family environment, availability of substances are considered important for the development of an addiction.
The scientific staff of our clinic with its many years of experience offers detoxification services from substances such as alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, heroin, sedatives, hypnotics, anxiolytics, amphetamines and hallucinogens. The treatment is done in two phases. The first phase concerns the treatment of conditions that present as complications of addiction and aims to detoxify the patient. This phase is only the beginning of a difficult and painful process of recovery of the addict that requires patience and perseverance. The following is the stage of long-term treatment, which aims at psychosocial rehabilitation and prevention of relapses. The support of the individual from therapeutic communities of social and professional reintegration and psychotherapy are the therapeutic approaches in this phase. The psychiatrists of our clinic can contribute substantially to the phase of stabilization and maintenance with sessions of individual psychotherapy and family therapy.
Source: Nikos Manos (1988), Vasika Stoicheia Klinikis Psychiatrikis, University Studio Press