Dr Adam Rubenis
Adam completed a doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2018 and has been working at Turning Point ever since. Adam's role is split between face-to-face and telephone-based counselling. This year Adam has also been working on a research fellowship, trying to better understand why clients leave treatment early.
What made you want to work in the addiction sector?
I’ve always been interested in the drivers of addiction and how for many people it can be a way to cope with psychological pain. It’s also an area that has not always been well-funded or integrated, despite clients often presenting with difficulties in many areas of life. It would be great to be involved in advocating for better support for clients seeking treatment for addiction.
What are the misconceptions of addiction?
That quitting is about willpower or that it’s possible to just stop. Everyone has their own recovery trajectory, which often involves setbacks and can take a lot of time.
What are the biggest challenges for someone with an addiction?
Community stigma around addiction can make it difficult for people to seek help or be willing to share their struggle with others. Addiction almost always has a function too (e.g., relief from anxiety, traumatic memories), and it can be challenging to find other ways to cope once the substance is gone.
What has been your experience of the documentary?
Anxiety provoking but exciting. It was great to be a part of a treatment team that could offer so many support options to clients, and to be part of a documentary that is advocating for positive change in the addiction treatment sector.
What do you hope people will see when they watch the documentary?
I hope the documentary can help people better relate to the experience of addiction – seeing the complexity and richness of these individuals’ lives might help to shake off some of the stereotypes and labels often associated with substance use or gambling.
How can we as a society ‘Rethink Addiction’?
I think it’s important to think about the complexity of addiction, people using substances or gambling are human beings, usually trying to find a way to cope with a difficult past or present or both. It would be great if society was able to think of addiction as a complex health problem with many contributing factors (individual and social).