Addiction & Substance Abuse

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“Just one more.” Do these words come to mind often? Whether it is a problem with gambling, alcohol, drugs, food, or sex, you may constantly experience an urge for just one more – just one more pull of a slot machine handle. Maybe you are grappling with one more look at that explicit website or standing in the beer isle at the grocery store thinking, “one last six pack before I quit forever.” You may find yourself at the nearby fast food chain telling yourself this is your last order of fries, or like many of us trying to fall asleep at 2 am after playing level after level of Candy Crush – Just. One. More.

What Causes Addiction?

While we do not know every intricacy or cause of addiction, because people are all so different, we do know that addiction is related to the reward/pleasure center of the brain. We keep going back to the thing that gives us that immediate release and it can get to the point where we lose control of ourselves. We know that addiction can be genetic, and there are also certain risk factors that may contribute to addiction, such as trauma, grief and loss, and loneliness. 

Types of Addiction

  • Alcohol
  • Drugs, both illegal and prescription (e.g., cocaine, opioids. Marijuana, amphetamines, prescription pills)
  • Food
  • Sex
  • Sexual (e.g., dressing like a baby)
  • Pornography
  • Tobacco
  • Gambling
  • Internet
  • Social media
  • Video games
  • Shopping
  • Stealing/shoplifting
  • Setting fires
  • Cutting/self-harm
  • Exercising
  • Working

Getting Help

You are not alone. Many people struggle with addiction of some type, and the feelings of depression and anxiety that accompany it. For some it may feel like an endless spiral of compulsion followed by momentary relief, shame, depression, anxiety – rinse and repeat. It may be affecting your home and work life. It doesn’t have to go on like this forever. There is hope. While beginning the process of therapy can take some time, there are some things you can do to begin helping yourself immediately:

  • Go on a walk. Try to find five things in your surroundings you have never noticed before.
  • Join a walking/jogging group
  • Join a support group that helps people with your specific issue
  • If you’re already part of  a group, reach out to your sponsor
  • Meditate
  • Take up a new hobby
  • Ask a friend to go out to a movie or dinner
  • Find a way to keep your hands busy such as creating or cooking something

What to Expect From Counseling

You’ve tried some of the above suggestions and are finally ready to face your demons. What should you expect from treatment? Our counselors are compassionate, caring, non-judgmental, and culturally sensitive. We will treat you with respect and as a human being with value and worth. We can help you examine the causes to try and get to the root of the addiction, process past trauma, offer practical suggestions to help with cravings while encouraging you to take charge of your therapy and help yourself, help you to learn to identify flaws in your thinking so you can take control and turn your thoughts around, challenge any negative beliefs that are bringing you down, and teach your mindfulness techniques to help you overcome the emotions and anxiety that often lead to giving in to the craving. While addiction can be frustrating, debilitating, and harmful, there is hope. With counseling and supplemental resources such as groups and social support you can achieve healing and recovery and life the life you deserve. Contact us here or call 734.203.0183 to learn more or schedule an appointment.