Mrs. Carol Venter

Mrs. Carol Venter
B.Soc.Sci (Social Work)
Presentation Title
Behavioural Addiction – When good habits turn bad
Content Focus Area
Individual Level
Addiction At Work – Digital/ Social Media, Drugs, Alcohol
Biographical information related to the topic
The field of addiction is one that I have always been passionate – and curious about – for over 20 years. My early professional years were spent at SANCA Alcohol & Drug Centre in the Eastern Cape, first as a student Social Work and eventually as Director and later Vice-Chairperson of the Board. Although I moved on to other NGO’s before joining ICAS in 2013, I have continued my work in addiction as a Treatment Professional for the National Responsible Gambling Programme since the inception of the Programme in 1999 and more recently as a volunteer on the SANCA Eastern Gauteng Board
Although still a slightly controversial subject, Behavioural Addictions continue to gain momentum and attract the attention of addiction specialists across the world.

One can argue that the impact of these “new age’, modern addictions are not as severe as the typical substance related addictions we are familiar with, but for those who have suffered the withdrawal, spiraled into an abyss of powerlessness, and faced the consequences of their loss of control over their problematic behavior, the illness certainly is a very real one.

Whether it be an addiction to work, exercise, eating, shopping or the more publicized, gambling, these behaviours often started out as innocent, acceptable and simply put, rewarding. One could say that in many cases, such as a commitment to hard work, or a regular exercise regime, these behaviours often started out as good habits, or frequent and common activities that slowly “turned bad”.

As professionals working in the field, we are challenged with the proper diagnosis of such addictions and the need to raise awareness around prevention and early intervention. But how does one predict that danger is lurking and that the behavior is becoming problematic when we are looking at behaviours that most engage in every day?

The key may lie in understanding the impact on the reward system of the brain, the process of addiction -whether it be substance or non-substance related, and acknowledging the wisdom in the seemingly clichéd antidote of “everything in moderation”, especially when we consider that many of us face a vulnerability to becoming hooked on atleast one of these behaviours.

As Addiction Specialist and/or EAP Practioners, the response-ability lies with us to not only educate ourselves on the topic, but also to formulate and implement impactful awareness and prevention programmes and ensure that we are ready to provide effective intervention.

Session Description
Whether it be an addiction to work, exercise, the internet, shopping or gambling, these behaviours often started out as innocent, acceptable and simply rewarding.
Learning Objective 1
Atendees will be able to identify behavioural addictions
Learning Objective 2
Atendees will understand effective prevention and treatment methodologies
Learning Objective 3
Atendees will be able to identify the impact on productivity of the employee / in the workplace
Audience Level