It is saddening to watch anyone struggle with substance addiction, when that person is also a family member; the situation often becomes agonizingly complicated. Peter Omondi, a clinical psychologist rids families of the ignorance that prevents them from dealing with the situation in a responsible and healthy way.
“Addiction is a state characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences. These stimuli increase the probability of repeating a particular behavior and over time tolerance towards the stimuli develops. Tolerance is the diminishing in effect if a drug due to continuous administration and it leads to dependence. Dependence is an addictive state associated with withdrawal symptoms upon sensation of repeated exposure to a stimuli or the drug intake. Addicts are people who have developed a desire to self medicate in attempt to regulate and control a troubled and turbulent inner world through their drug of choice.” Mr. Omondi explains some of the common terms used in regard.
Family often means well, but their interventions in many situations are misinterpreted for being judgmental, nosy or plain annoying. Mr. Omondi, who works at the Asumbi Treatment Centre, acknowledges that addicts are cunning emotional minefields and advices family on how to navigate without tiptoeing around the issue.