Do you find that your addiction is out of control?

  • Do you abuse drugs or alcohol most days?
  • Do you use drugs to help you cope with stress or a past trauma?
  • Is your addiction impacting your ability to work or to be in a relationship?
  • Do you want to find a way to stop your addiction?

sihlouette of a man in a fieldMany people occasionally drink alcohol or use drugs. Alcohol and marijuana are readily available in most areas and people might use it recreationally. However, drug or alcohol addiction is a chronic disease that severely impacts a person’s life. The first time a person uses a drug is usually voluntary but continued drug use alters the brain and can interfere with the ability of the person to stop using the drug. This is the reason that drug abusers can relapse after successfully stopping to use a drug. To overcome addiction people require addiction treatment.

But how can you know if you are recreational user or have an addition disorder? One of the ways to determine if you are an addict is if you continue to use drugs despite severe consequences at work or at home. Also is the drug abuse impacting your work performance or your relationships with family and friends? The symptoms of addiction include a need to use the drug regularly, intense cravings, needing more of the drug to get the same effect, spending more time to get and use the drug, and doing risky things while under the influence of the drug.

You might think that you can cope with your addiction. But addiction can be overwhelming. You might find yourself consumed with drug use and not able to function at work, missing workdays and turning in assignments late. Addiction can also impact your thoughts and feelings and cause you to neglect your health needs and your appearance. Therefore it is important to find a way to address your disorder with addiction treatment before it consumes your life.

Addiction is a common disorder

Addiction is a common disorder impacting approximately 24 million people age 12 and older. People can abuse legal or illegal drugs and prescription drugs can be as addictive as a drug like heroin. One of the most commonly used drugs is marijuana. Most people first try drugs as teenagers and about half of the people start with marijuana. The factors for developing drug addiction are environmental and genetics. Environmental factors include family attitudes towards drug use and being exposed to a peer group that uses drugs.

close up of older man's faceAddiction can impact people differently. Some people can suffer from medical problems related to their addiction. In others the addiction can trigger a mental illness such as depression or anxiety. Drugs can also cause behavioral problems such as increased aggressiveness, impaired judgment, and impulsivity.

There are different reasons that people use drugs. Some people might be prescribed a medication. Others might have feelings of emptiness and believe that drugs can make them feel happy. Remember that drugs are more easily attained today on the streets or through a doctor.

A person might avoid discussing their addiction with family or friends due to feeling embarrassed or unsure what is occurring or believing that they can control the situation. The good news is that addiction is treatable. People should get addiction treatment before the situation becomes unmanageable.

Addiction treatment can give you the tools to cope with your dependence

Addiction might not always be cured but like other chronic diseases it can be managed. Just like with other chronic illnesses a person with an addiction might relapse. Remember that relapsing does not mean that treatment has failed because there is a need to change behavioral patterns.

Addiction treatment involves changing a person’s behavioral patterns. The approach is intended to change their attitudes about using drugs and providing them with other ways to cope and address their needs. This can be a long recovery process because in many cases the drug use has taken over the person’s life and has interrupted their careers and family life. I have treated addiction for over 10 years. I work with people of all ages and from different backgrounds. My approach is tailored to your needs and my aim is to help you manage your addiction.

asian woman with her hair blowing by the seaWhy is my approach effective? I use an approach called cognitive behavioral therapy. This is a short-term goal oriented approach that aims to change your pattern of thinking and associated behaviors connected to those thoughts. Working together with you I look at the way your thoughts and attitudes that you have about different issues impact your behaviors. Once you understand the connection it becomes easier for you to cope with your addiction.

I will help you to examine the impact of negative automatic thoughts on your ability to cope with stressful events that can lead to addiction. Negative automatic thoughts are inaccurate and can be harmful.  For example having a low opinion of yourself and your abilities can impact your self-esteem and your interactions with family and friends. Negative thoughts usually originate in childhood as a result of the way that our family treated us.

Each session lasts for 50 minutes and we will meet once or twice a week depending on the severity of your addiction and your individual needs. In each session we will work together on understanding the impact of your thoughts on your behaviors. I will also give you homework assignments so you can continue to work on the exercises we used during the session. Remember that you can learn to cope with your addiction and find new ways to cope with your stress through addiction treatment.

I think that I might need therapy but I heard therapy is expensive

Therapy is an investment in your wellbeing. By learning to cope with you’re addiction you can reduce your stress and learn to lead a more productive life. I offer a free half hour initial session.

You can improve your life

Many people may not be aware of the impact of addiction on their lives until discussing problems they face in depth. There is no shame in seeking help to make your life brighter and happier. I will help you find the right coping skills to enhance your well-being. Life should not have to be scary, and through addiction treatment, you can find the true relief you need.  Please call me at 646.717.4860 for a free 30 minute consultation.