Is Drug Abuse Or Addiction Taking Over Your Life?
Are you beginning to wonder if your use or even known abuse of a prescription or an illicit drug is becoming a significant problem? Have you noticed that it takes more and more of the same substance to mitigate pain or achieve a euphoric feeling? Has your use started to impact your ability to function at work or engage meaningfully with friends and family? Perhaps your loved ones have expressed concerns about your mental state and wellbeing. Or, perhaps you’ve suffered legal, monetary, family or professional repercussions as a result of your drug use. While the drugs once made you feel better, are you now beginning to wonder if they’re contributing to an ongoing cycle of pain? Do you wish you could find a way to repair relationships, feel better about yourself and get your life back?
Living with a substance abuse problem or addiction can be a highly destructive and isolating experience. What starts out as a prescription for pain, a line of cocaine at a party or a few hits off a joint can sometimes move from use to abuse and into addiction. All of a sudden, you may be taking more of the substance and using it more often to “chase the high” that you used to achieve with little effort. You may be spending too much money, losing time and productivity at work and experiencing turmoil in relationships because you are on edge without this substance and often not present with what’s going on around you when you’re on it. You might also feel ashamed and secretive about your drug abuse – not wanting to cause concern for loved ones or get lectured about how you’ve changed. Or, you might wonder, especially if you’re on doctor-prescribed drugs, if a problem exists at all. While you might love how the drug or drugs make you feel when you’re high, you may be also experiencing feelings of regret, guilt and remorse and wish you knew how to feel whole and healthy again without the use of a substance.
Substance Abuse And Addiction Are More Common Than You Might Think
If you’re struggling with drug abuse or addiction, you are not alone. Chemical dependency affects people of every socioeconomic walk of life. It has no respect for intelligence, morality or values. It is a disease that has devastating effects on a person’s physical health, emotional wellbeing, family life, mental functioning and spirituality. Studies report that nearly 10 percent of the American population is addicted to drugs or alcohol and that prescription drug abuse and addiction is on the rise. The elderly and teenagers appear to be most susceptible to prescription drug abuse and addiction, as the former become addicted to doctor-prescribed painkillers while the latter obtain drugs illegally to use recreationally – at least at first. While prescription drug abuse is becoming an epidemic everywhere, illicit drug abuse and addiction is more prevalent in Houston than in other parts of the country. There is a lot of drug trafficking in our city, making drugs like cocaine, heroin and marijuana more accessible.
Regardless of your drug of choice, when use turns into abuse and especially addiction, there is a problem. If you’ve become dependent on a substance to regulate or affect your mood, friends and family are expressing concerns and parts of your life have been negatively impacted, seeking the support and guidance of an experienced, certified drug and alcohol counselor may be imperative to your current and future health and overall wellbeing.
Drug Counseling Can Provide You With Guidance, Support And Sober Living Skills
In all honesty, addiction is hard to beat, recovery is challenging and people with addictions are prone to relapse. That said, by seeking help rather than trying to control or quit a substance on your own, the likelihood that you can become and stay sober increases substantially.
In addiction counseling sessions, you will be provided with security and support as you learn the differences between use, abuse and addiction and where your use falls on that spectrum. As you develop a better understanding about your substance problem and how it has negatively impacted your health, relationships and overall quality of life, you can begin to create a new level of self-awareness and develop self-evaluation tools to guide you in the recovery process.
Together, we’ll identify, explore and address the root causes, triggers and impacts of your addiction. We’ll examine how the use began, why it spiraled out of control and ways you can mitigate or cease your use now. In sessions, you can learn healthy, effective ways to deal with stress and triggers, as well as tips to help you get and stay sober. After years or just months of addiction, it can be challenging to navigate the world without being high. However, with the right supports and strategies in place, you can implement effective sober living tips and make healthier decisions moving forward.
In sessions, we’ll also look at relationship, work and legal problems that may have been caused by your addiction. We can discuss ways to restore relationships, increase productivity at work and demonstrate to colleagues, friends and family members that you’re committed to sobriety, growth and positive change. We’ll identify and examine your strengths, find ways to build on them and set meaningful and achievable goals.
In addition to my 20 plus years as a substance abuse and addiction counselor, I’ve also been a sober alcoholic for 28 years. As both a professional and a person who struggled with addiction, I understand the challenges you’re experiencing. I also know that recovery is possible. With help, support and the willingness to really engage in therapy, you can get your life back. In fact, you can have a better life. You can restore and enhance your relationships, have more energy to devote to work and other interests, develop more insight into yourself and learn how to respond to and interact with others. With guidance and support, it is possible to live a meaningful and fulfilling sober life.
You may recognize that you need help, but still have questions or concerns about drug counseling…
I should be able to beat this on my own.
Seeking help is not a sign of weakness, and it is important to remember that addiction is a disease. If you were diagnosed with a serious physical illness, would you try to beat it on your own? While a few people can conquer an addiction without help, that is rarely the case. Excessive drug use alters brain chemistry. Your brain has changed, and you’ll need help to restore it to normal so you can heal from this addiction and begin lasting recovery.
My problem isn’t that bad. It’s really not that big of a deal.
Given that you’re reading this, you’re likely struggling in some way. Perhaps a loved one has expressed concern or your work or family life has been impacted by your use. That said, maybe you don’t have a problem. But, if you’ve been experiencing monetary, relationship, professional or legal problems due to drug use, it’s worth having an objective conversation with a substance abuse counselor to determine whether or not a problem exists.
I’ve tried drug counseling in the past and it didn’t work. Why should it be different this time?
There are a lot of reasons that addiction counseling may not have worked in the past. There are just as many reasons why and how it could work now. Your current place in your life, new perspective and the right counselor can make a big difference in recovery. Sometimes just taking a fresh look at potential thought and behavioral patterns can be extremely helpful in uncovering specific issues or triggers that may have been overlooked in past treatments. The important part is that you don’t give up. There is always the possibility for healing and recovery if you want it.
There Is Hope And Help
You don’t have to continue to live in shame or try to beat an addiction on your own. Start with one powerful act – ask for help. It is up to you to make a decision and reach out. If others could do it for you, they would have. I urge you to search your heart and soul and decide if you’ve has enough. If the answer is yes, the next step is yours to take.
I invite you to call me for a free 15-minute phone consultation to discuss your specific situation and to answer any questions you have about addiction counseling, my practice and how I can help.