Addiction is a common term in our society. We use it to discuss abuse of/dependence on alcohol and/or drugs, pain killers, sex & pornography, overworking, gambling, overeating, and shopping. Generally speaking, it involves compulsively repeating behaviors, despite knowing they lead to negative outcomes. Clinically, it becomes a problem when more is needed to achieve the desired effect (known as tolerance), or when a person feels unable to decrease or stop the behaviors.
There can be preoccupation with the behavior or substance at the exclusion of other important activities. Additionally, when a person finds he/she experiences negative emotional and/or physical effects when discontinuing use of the substance–this is known as withdrawal, which can be harmless flu-like symptoms or more serious, potentially fatal. Discontinuing use of a substance should be discussed with your physician.
Oftentimes, getting to the point where an individual is motivated to change the behavior is the key. Prior to this the individual may make half-hearted attempts at recovery, may even engage in lying and/or stealing to support the addictive behavior. Some things to look for are extreme changes in mood, sleep patterns, energy levels, and alterations in reality. Additionally, secrecy, changes in friends, and sudden weight change may indicate the individual is having a problem with addiction.
Depending on the nature of the substance and the stage in recovery, we have therapists on staff to help you and your family to deal with addiction and changing those behaviors.
Call us today to set up your appointment.