Long term drug abuse creates changes in the brain that persist long after a person stops using drugs. These drug induced changes in brain function can affect behavior, including overwhelming impulses to use drugs regardless of facing very real consequences. Like other chronic diseases, addiction can, with treatment, be managed successfully. As with other chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma, relapse as some point in treatment is likely. Treatment helps address not only the physiological but social and behavioral aspects of addiction to regain control of their lives.
Because our lives have so many different parts (relationships, work, recreation, etc.), the ripple created by addiction is wide and far reaching. It effects the individual, their job, their families and the other people around them. To be effective, treatment must address the individual’s drug abuse and any associated medical, physical, social, vocational or legal problems. Nearly all addicted individuals believe at the outset that they can stop using on their own and most try to stop without treatment. Research shows that active participation in treatment is essential for good outcomes and can benefit even the most severely addicted individuals.
If you or someone you know is struggling with the effects of addiction, you don’t have to go it alone. Help is available.
I provide drug and alcohol treatment to help people regain control over their lives and deal in healthy ways with past trauma and family patterns. But did you know that food can fit the addictive pattern too? In addition to treating drug and alcohol addictions, I address eating disorders as addictions. Do you feel powerless over food? You are not alone.The definition for substance addiction undeniably can apply to eating disorders: Unmanageability. Preoccupation. Denial. Minimization. Powerlessness. Guilt & shame.
Food is a social event. Sharing food is greatly valued and experienced in all cultures. It is a formidable way of fostering closeness and building trust. But being obsessive with food, either eating too much or too little, is a sign of food being used to medicate one’s feelings and emotions, instead of being used as a reaction to physical hunger. Food becomes a way to soothe pain and manage stress. Buried childhood trauma (such as sexual abuse), loneliness, and anxiety are some of the hidden influences that push an overeater to pursue the safety and sedation of food. If the feeling you have in your body (or mind) can be satisfied by anything other than food, then it is not a psychical hunger you are feeling.
I treat eating disorders (and substance/alcohol addictions) by treating the whole person – past and present, psychological and social. Together we can make a difference and help you learn to manage your relationship with food in a healthy and joyful way. Call today.
There is a good deal of debate over what behaviors can be considered “addictions.” Labels aside, addictive behaviors are generally thought of as being preoccupying, repetitive behaviors despite negative consequences. The person needs a larger quantity or stronger version to get the same results over time. When the person doesn’t have access to that behavior they experience negative reactions including poor coping, depression, problems socializing or recreating. These behaviors are also associated with guilt and shame and the person tries to hide the behavior which breaks down trust and isolates them from help.
Some sexual behaviors, infidelity, pornography use and compulsive use of sexual online chats/dating services at times leave the person feeling powerless and partners feeling betrayed and confused.
Whether or not these behaviors are addictions or not, treatment is often needed to address the behavior. Treatment is more than just a plan to stop. I help men and couples figure out what triggers and relationship patterns set them up for failure over and over again. I help men and couples make a plan together that goes beyond “checking up” on a partner to addressing the root relationship dynamics that often keep the addictive pattern going.