Addiction 101


Most addiction problems can be treated so that people can maintain day-to-day functioning. Treatment comes in many forms, including individual and group therapy, counselling, psychosocial intervention and medication, such as opioid agonist therapies for opioid addiction (Institute of Health Economics, 2014).

Community supports, such as outreach services, housing-related advocacy and mutual support groups are also available. In Ontario, treatment and supports for substance use and gambling problems are provided across many settings, including by family physicians, psychiatrists, hospitals, outpatient programs and clinics, community agencies and private practitioners (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2015). Many people also use self-help approaches, such as Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous.

Since different factors lead to addiction, no single type of treatment will work for everyone. Meeting with a trained counsellor for an addiction assessment is a good start. The assessment helps to identify a person's problems and strengths, and to figure out what treatment approach and level of support best suits each person.

Assessing a client's readiness to change is the best way to improve the chances that change will happen. Interventions that align with the client's stage of change can increase motivation and promote positive change (Portico, 2017).

Addiction 101 © , CAMH.