Do you or someone you love struggle with an addiction?
Have you or someone you love struggled through drug, alcohol, video game or porn addiction? Maybe you are struggling with a gambling addiction and are losing thousands of dollars, but just can't seem to quit. In today's times, social media is the newest source of addiction. Do you stare at your phone all day reading Facebook posts? Do you binge watch Youtube videos hour after hour. Have you promised to stop, but failed over and over again.
Addictions can gradually take over a person's life. It can make you stray away from all the important things like school, work, spending time with loved ones and strip away any remnants of relationship quality. In extreme cases, some have missed the birth of their child, gotten fired at work, missed their daughters wedding or given up custody of their children.
Addictions affect everyone.
Addicts are Not Bad People
There is a stigma around people who become addicts. They are labeled as misfits by society and the media and the workforce. However, many addicts we work with are very good people. In fact, anyone with the wrong brain chemistry and wrong set of circumstances can become an addict. Prominent, well spoken, and intelligent people are all susceptible to this problem. Medical doctors have isolated a part of the brain that is responsible for influencing addictive behavior. This does not mean that people are not personally responsible for their actions, it just helps explain that there is a biological component to addiction. Dr. Drew, addiction expert says that "Genetics + Trauma = Addiction".
In Patient vs Out-Patient Counseling
We at new Paths Family Counseling offer out-patient treatment only. However, not all people who struggle with addiction will be suitable for out-patient treatment. Out-patient treatment is where the patient comes in one or more times per week for a limited time. After the session is over, the patient goes home. In-patient treatment is for very serious addictions. Many may be life threatening, but it does not have to be. In-Patient treatment is where the client will actually live in a treatment facility for thirty to sixty to ninety days or more. It is very expensive, but is absolutely necessary in some cases. Due to the cost ranging from $10,000 to 20,000 per month, many will only resort to in-patient treatment as a last resort and there are no other options.
When Does a Bad Habit Become an Addiction
People tend to give in to addictive behavior to escape emotional pain, to deal with boredom or to use it as a form of entertainment. If you are struggling with your stress day in and day out and never get relief, it may be OK seek a distraction like getting on Facebook or having a glass of wine. So when does a bad habit become an addiction. There is no single indicator on whether a person is an addict or not. So let me provide you with some guidelines.
- Have your tried to stop multiple times, but failed?
- Have you or do you feel the need to lie to others about your behaviors?
- Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when giving up the addictive behavior?
- Do you have exceedingly strong cravings towards the addictive behavior?
- Do you require more and more to get the same effect?
- Do you regularly go to the addictive behavior instead of dealing with emotional pain or boredom?
- Do you get defensive when others say you have a problem?
- Are the consequences of your behavior becoming more and more serious, yet you still engage in the behvior?
Addictive behaviors typically replace healthy behaviors. If a person gets an addiction, then their healthy coping mechanisms are placed on hold. When an addict encounters difficult times, he or she will go to the addictive behavior instead of dealing directly with the problem. If you have a difficult week, do you rely on the addictive behavior to make you feel better instead of learning how to process through your feelings in a healthy way. Imagine if you have don this since you were 15 years old. Your emotional growth freezes in place and you can become a 40 year old person with the coping skills of a teenager.
How Do I Know If I Really Have an Addiction
The bottom line is that if your life is being negatively impacted by the substance or behavior and it becomes hard to function well at work and in your relationships, why not seek treatment. Why not improve on the areas of your life that need work? Everyone has areas they need to improve upon. It is the healthy ones that face their challenges instead of running away from them.
How to Treat Addictions or Addictive Behavior
The problem with addiction is that it replaces healthy coping skills and good habits with bad ones. Addictions drive people to ignore their problems, rather than deal with the uncomfortable emotions around them. It makes people question themselves and create self-doubt when they going through a relapse. You are worth more than that. You deserve a good life. Quality counseling will help to ...
- Build a network of sober friends and supportive people
- Learn to tell the truth even if it makes you look bad
- Systematic reduction of the addictive behavior
- Identify when cravings hit the strongest and find replacement behaviors
- Find healthy activities and rediscover the enjoyment of life without the addictive behavior
- Learn how to deal with difficult emotions that leads to emotional growth and maturity
- Learn to find self-worth and acceptance
Often times, the hardest part in overcoming addiction is to find the motivation to change. Even though there are so many consequences, the draw to the addiction is so strong that it interferes with the ability to stop. We help people overcome addictive behaviors by using motivational interviewing. We interview a person in a way that draws out their motivations. It takes a lot of probing around and investigation, but eventually their main source of motivation to change is seen. We take their very own arguments and use this as a way to disrupt the use of the addictive behaviors. Every person has their motivation. I
Find Your Motivation
If you are ready to get your life back, and ready to start living again, please contact us for a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation. We are happy to discuss your needs and how our counseling services can help.