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Addiction Issues

"What is addiction, really? It is a sign, a signal, a symptom of distress. It is a language that tells us about a plight that must be understood.” - Alice Miller

Addiction Issues

"What is addiction, really? It is a sign, a signal, a symptom of distress. It is a language that tells us about a plight that must be understood.” - Alice Miller

To be human is to struggle with impulse control. It's hard to get up and exercise, or restrain the inclination to judge others, or not eat that last donut. Our susceptibilities give us personality and differentiate us. Certain stimuli are meant to reward us with good feelings - it's part of our brain chemistry. It can be enjoyable to indulge - to a point. 

But sometimes these struggles can take on patterns, and involve stronger urges. Desires that we don't know how to control. One glass of wine an evening can turn into three. Those narcotics that were prescribed for legitimate medical reasons suddenly seem necessary to get through the day. When that happens, we often don't know how to begin the process of facing destructive patterns of thought and behavior.

At Four Stones, we have extensive experience working with addiction and recognize that there are both biological and psychological factors that predispose, precipitate, and perpetuate the addictive cycle. We want to stand alongside you in this difficult battle. We have a complete toolbox of therapeutic modalities, including careful use of medication, that enables us to tackle these challenges collaboratively and holistically.

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Addiction comes in many guises. Here are some of the more common types, all of which Four Stones is able to help treat:

Alcoholism:

Excessive use of or dependence on alcohol can take many forms. When alcohol use results in psychological cravings, risky behaviors, social problems, or physical withdrawal, treatment is necessary. Genetic factors can contribute to alcoholism - the DSM-V states that persons with a history of familial alcoholism are three to four times more likely to develop alcohol problems themselves. Also, society's acceptance of certain patterns of alcohol use as normal instead of abusive can lead many people to feel ostracized from their community when they decide to stop drinking. This can intensify the struggle to maintain sobriety by contributing to social stigma and shame for being labeled "abnormal." 

Behavioral Addiction:

Persons with addiction to various behaviors may find themselves compelled to constantly exercise, seek out sexual experiences in an uncontrollable manner, gamble constantly, or eat certain foods compulsively, among other behaviors. All are characterized by negative consequences associated with the behavior and an inability to stop. Cognitive behavioral therapy has proven effective in treating these various types of addictions, as have certain medications to for mitigating underlying triggers.

Substance Addiction:

Whether nicotine, opioids, amphetamines, or other harmful drugs, substance abuse can be deadly in the short or long-term. The legality of certain substances (like nicotine) versus others (opioids outside of a doctor's guidance) further complicates these addictive behaviors and can cause shame or stigma for the person who struggles with them. The physical symptoms of addiction can also make it difficult to seek help. A blended therapeutic approach is often required for difference substances, in order to treat the issue in a comprehensive fashion.

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse lists the following signs that you may be battling addictive thoughts and behaviors:

  • Often taking more of the substance for a longer period than intended
  • Ongoing desire or unsuccessful efforts to reduce use
  • Great deal of time spent to obtain, use or recover from substance
  • Craving the substance
  • Failing to fulfill obligations at work, home or school as a result of continued use
  • Continued use despite ongoing social or relationship problems caused or worsened by use
  • Giving up or reducing social, occupational or recreational activities because of use
  • Repeated use in physically dangerous situations (like drinking or using other drugs while driving, or smoking in bed)
  • Continued use despite ongoing physical or mental health problems caused or worsened by use
  • Developing tolerance (feeling less effect from the substance with continued use)
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after reducing use (symptoms vary by substance). Withdrawal does not happen with all substances; examples include inhalants and hallucinogens

Addiction can be overwhelming and make you feel powerless. Regardless of your struggle, Four Stones is here to stand with you in your battle against addiction. With the help of collaborative treatment model, you can win this battle and find freedom on the other side.

If you or someone you know is struggling with Addiction Issues