~ ADDICTIONS RECOVERY ~
An addiction is an involvement with a
substance or behavior despite the negative consequences associated with it.
Addictions are not always about drugs or alcohol. Addictions, also referred to
as compulsions, can be associated with gambling, food, Internet, gaming, work,
shopping, cutting, or many other behaviors.
Addictions hurt everyone involved and are devastating to the lives they effect. The person addicted may
be in total denial, feeling that he or she doesn't have a problem. Or that
person may feel completely helpless, and with each repeated act his or her
self-worth goes lower and lower. Addicts lose touch with reality and their
relationships in life crumble. Additionally, loved ones of the addict suffer
immensely as they watch helplessly, not knowing what to do. While they love the
individual addicted, they are torn between two worlds: one is the person they
used to know and love, the other is the self-absorbed addict who seems to care
for little else other than the next fix. They often see two different people and
have to remind themselves that the addicted person, who seems like a stranger to
them, is still the same person they used to know before the addiction. Many
families have been destroyed from addictive behavior.
The primary goal of addiction counseling is to help the client achieve and maintain abstinence
from addictive chemicals and behaviors. It is also important to help the client
recover from the damage the addiction has done to the client's life and address underlying issues that fuel the addiction.
It's important for the client to take responsibility for working a program of
recovery. However, although recovery is ultimately the client's task, he/she is
encouraged to get a great deal of support from others such as the client's
counselors, sponsor, recovering peers, and family members. Signs that indicate a
person may be trying to hide a substance addiction include changes in
friendships, defiance, academic problems, physical changes (red eyes, frequent
use of eye drops), legal troubles, changes in mood, and finding drug
paraphernalia (rolling papers, pipes, etc.).
Signs that may indicate
that you could benefit from addiction counseling include:
- Continued use of a substance or continued engagement in a behavior regardless of its negative consequences
- Feeling as though you "can't stop", even when you want to
- Repeated failed efforts to stop
- Feeling dependent on the substance or behavior - that you have to have it, or that you have to do it to feel "normal"
- Preoccupation or obsessive thinking about the substance or behavior