Counseling for Addictions
Addiction can be debilitating, affecting your relationships, work and health. Left untreated, your addiction can even be fatal. But you know your dependency does not define the real you. A broken life does not have to be your destiny. We’re here to help.
Traditionally, the term addiction has been applied to the use of substances that cross the blood-brain barrier and affect mood, perception, and experience. More recently, the term addiction has been broadened to include the repeated engagement in self-harming behaviors despite negative consequences.
Some of the types of addiction we diagnose and treat:
Addictive behavior has been described as a “slippery slope” in that once established, addictive behavior can escalate rapidly and become more difficult to treat. Therefore, it is important that addiction be addressed at the earliest opportunity. Here are some signs and symptoms of addiction:
- The individual must use more and more of the addictive substance in order to achieve the same effect, or the person uses the same amount but the effect of the substance is weakened. In other words, a tolerance to the substance has been built.
- Withdrawal (i.e, unpleasant physical, emotional, or psychological symptoms) occurs when the individual stops using the addictive substance.
- The person has attempted unsuccessfully to cut down or control the use of the addictive substance.
- The individual is preoccupied with the use of the addictive substance. For instance, they spend a great deal of time planning, using, and recovering (physically, financially) from the addictive behavior. As a result, isolation from people or activities not associated with the addiction can occur.
How is addiction treated?
Treatment is generally multi-modal, including individual or marriage/family counseling, consultation with the family physician, and participation in a recovery support group. Some wish to achieve total abstinence from the object of their addiction, while others find it empowering to learn to effectively moderate their use or participation in it. In severe cases of addiction, such as when the person’s health is at imminent risk, a stay at a residential treatment facility or hospital may be helpful or even necessary.
Imagine a life free from:
- Planning your day around the next time you can fulfill your addictive need
- Concealing your addiction from family or friends
- Becoming progressively more alienated from those who don’t share in your addiction
- Drinking or using drugs alone
- Regretting something you said or did when you were drunk or high
- Panicking if you don’t have access to the object of your addiction
- Relying on alcohol or drugs to relax or fall asleep