Personal Addiction Counseling
ARE YOU READY TO MAKE A CHANGE?
Developing an addiction isn’t a character flaw or a sign of weakness. And, as you know, it takes more than willpower to overcome the problem. Abusing alcohol, drugs, or another addictive activity can create changes in the brain. Your brain reacts to the world around you with powerful cravings and a compulsion to use that makes sobriety seem like an impossible goal. At Clarity Centers we know that recovery is truly never out of reach, no matter how hopeless your situation seems or how many times you’ve tried and failed before. For many people struggling with addiction, the toughest step toward recovery is the very first one: recognizing that you have a problem and deciding to make a change.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE ADDICTED
Addictive disorders are usually identified by a person’s recurrent use of a substance or engagement with an activity leading to impairment or distress The diagnosis is based on the presence of at least two of a number of features:
- There is a craving or strong desire to use the substance or take part in the activity.
- The substance or the activity is used in larger amounts or for a longer period of time than was intended.
- There is a desire to cut down on use or unsuccessful efforts to do so.
- Pursuit of the substance or activity consumes a significant amount of time.
- Tolerance occurs, such as by an individual’s need for increased amounts of the substance to achieve the desired effect
- Withdrawal occurs, shown by either the presence of physiological withdrawal symptoms or the taking of a related substance to block those symptoms.
- Use of the substance or activity disrupts role obligations at work, school, or home.
- Use of the substance or activity progresses, even when there are social or interpersonal problems.
- Participation in important social, work, or recreational activities drops or stops.
- Use occurs in situations where it is physically risky.
- Use continues despite knowing it is causing or exacerbating physical or psychological problems.
TYPES OF THERAPY INTERVENTIONS
Individual and Group Therapy In group therapy, you’re more likely to be both challenged and supported by peers. Individual therapy can help when you have depression, bipolar disorder, or another significant mental health condition that requires treatment in its own right, separate from your addiction. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, teaches you how to recognize moods, thoughts, and situations that fire up cravings. You’ll learn to replace negative thoughts and feelings with healthy ones that will help you stay clean. Motivational Interviewing In this method, therapists try to motivate you and help you maintain your abstinence. If you’re prompted by love of family or returning to work, these may become the focus of your treatment. Couples and Family Therapy Successful treatment requires strong relationships with family and friends. Studies show family therapy results in lower relapse rates, increased happiness in the family, and helps children of addicted parents manage their situation.
BUILD A MEANINGFUL LIFE
You can support your addictions treatment and protect yourself from relapse by having activities, people and interests that provide meaning to your life. Here are some things to consider:
- Pick up an old hobby or try a new one. Do things that challenge your creativity—something maybe you’ve always wanted to try. Learn a musical instrument, a foreign language, or try a new sport.
- Adopt a pet. Yes, pets are a responsibility, but caring for an animal makes you feel loved and needed. Pets can also get you out of the house for exercise.
Spend time in nature. Take a scenic hike, go fishing or camping, or enjoy regular walks in a park. Walk barefoot, too!
- Get involved in your community. Replace your addiction with drug-free groups. Become active in your church or faith community, or join a local club or neighborhood group.
- Set meaningful goals. It doesn’t matter what the goals are, just that they are important and valuable to you.
- Look after your health. Regular exercise, adequate sleep, and healthy eating habits help you keep your energy levels up and your stress levels down. The more you can stay healthy and feel good, the easier it will be to stay sober.