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What is Addiction?
Psychology Today’s definition of Addiction:

“Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (gambling) that can be pleasurable but the continued use of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work or relationships, or health.”

Addiction is a chronic brain disease that effects a number of Americans every day.  The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism report that more than 23 million Americans struggle with addiction on a daily basis. 

How do I know if addiction has become a problem for me?

Please consider the following questions:

Has alcohol or drug use affected your ability to do your job or take care of your family?

Do you feel physically sick when you stop taking alcohol or drugs?

Have you tried to stop using but have found it difficult to stop?                  

Has your drinking or drug use caused you to have legal problems?

Have other people in your life expressed concern about your drinking or drug use?

How can individual therapy help me with my addiction?

Individual therapy gives clients the opportunity to examine their alcohol and drug use and create a plan to prevent further use. 

How does addiction affect the family?

Individuals struggling with the stigma of addiction live a life of secrets and pain.  Allow that pain to motivate you to make a change and reach out for support.  Our society views addiction as a disease of an individual when actually it is a disease of the family.  Addiction is also a genetic disease, placing younger generations at risk.  When a family is struggling with addiction, the family will need treatment and recovery, not just the Addict.  Addiction is devastating to most families, affecting the system as a whole, causing dysfunctional behaviors, vicious cycles, and patterns.  The dysfunctional way of life due to addiction is pervasive and detrimental.   Without treatment, addiction causes feelings of shame, guilt, and resentment in all members of the family.  Despite what stereotypes may suggest, no one chooses to be an addict.  As addiction is a real disease, although it is not curable, it is treatable and requires real treatment.  There are many types of treatment and often times a combination of treatment is recommended such as; 12 Step Program, Rehabilitation Centers, Detox Centers, Psychotherapy, Psycho-education and/or Medication Therapy.

How will therapy improve my family struggling with addiction?
·      Improve communication
·       Validation
·       Education to create understanding
·       Empathy
·       Develop and express emotions effectively
·       Seek and find happiness, peace, strength and hope

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