5 signs to spot addiction, and how to get rid of it

Experts from Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC), managed by Cleveland Clinic, discussed the characteristics of an addict as part of their on-going series of mental health awareness talks.

The lecture took place on June 3 in the Behavioural Sciences Pavilion (BSP) auditorium at SKMC, and was aimed at helping to bring understanding and clarity on the subject of addiction and how to recognise an addict.

Dr. Tarek Darwish, Consultant Physician at SKMC, led the talk and addressed the fundamental characteristics of addicts, and what kinds of treatment options are available to them.

“Generally, addicts are pleasure-driven and don’t necessarily consider the far-reaching consequences of their actions – they seek immediate gratification and will deny that they even have an addiction in order to continue with their behaviour.”

“Lack of organisation, realism, objectivity and wisdom in an addict means that they may not have the clarity to evaluate their situation properly, and need to seek outside treatment in order to overcome their illness,” Dr. Darwish added.

“Addiction is an illness and it needs to be treated as such. Treatment involves acknowledgement of the behaviour, motivation to change through creating a desire to stop, and helping them on all levels to overcome their issues - through re-integration.”

This health talk was part of the Mental Health Awareness Program that started in March 2010, and includes a series of health talks in Arabic language every month on different topics related to mental health and social problems.

SKMC is part of the Seha Health System and is owned and operated by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha), which is responsible for the curative activities of all the public hospitals and clinics in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The Mental Health Awareness Program is organized by the BSP of SKMC, a comprehensive psychiatric facility committed to providing mental health treatment services in the UAE. The program consists of monthly public health talks about different topics related to mental health in the Arabic language.

The talks are given by a panel of mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists as well as social workers from the BSP. Each session includes a question and answer session to answer the attendees’ inquiries.

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