Are you a regular drug user who has tried to stop, but can’t give up the habit? Do you drink alcohol even though it makes you anxious or depressed? Has substance abuse isolated you from your loved ones? Chemical addiction is a complex physical and psychological condition in which a person cannot control his or her use of potentially harmful substances. This is a serious, sometimes fatal, condition that alters brain chemistry, and requires both medical and psychological intervention.
The term ‘chemical dependency’ normally refers to drug addiction and alcoholism. Some of the most common drug addictions include stimulants (for example, cocaine and amphetamines) and opiates (such as heroin, morphine, and methadone). Though there are fewer stigmas associated with alcohol abuse, serious alcoholic dependency can be just as lethal as drug addiction. Persons who abuse and depend on drugs and/or alcohol are using these substances to self-medicate for deeper problems. Overcoming the physical addiction begins with addressing the underlying psychological issues which led to developing the dependency.
Breaking the cycle of chemical dependency can be extremely difficult, but recovering from your addiction will change your life and restore you to health and freedom. Counseling is an integral part of addiction recovery because it helps to get at the underlying issues that led to dependency in the first place. In the safe, productive space of a counseling room, you can explore the deeper issues which drove you to substance abuse, and a professional counselor can help you discern the emotional, psychological, spiritual, and biological factors of your addiction.
It is no secret that addiction has a profound effect on relationships. Shame, paranoia, and depression can all be consequences of chemical abuse, and these can drive an addict to isolate themselves from others. It is also not uncommon for addicts to form codependent relationships with others. In relationships where one person suffers from chemical dependency, the codependent partner can easily become the addict’s enabler.
The scope of this article focuses on addiction to substances and rehab for teens.
One of the most difficult things to process as a parent is how little control we end up having over the well-being of our children as they get older. If we do our job well, they go from needing us absolutely (as infants) to not needing us at all (as adults).
That doesn’t mean we don’t have a relationship with them, it just means in most circumstances we go from being completely responsible for them to having little or no responsibility for them at all. For many parents, this is a painful transition. By the time they are in their teens, most children are beginning to flex their independence, looking for more freedom and autonomy.
When the choices they make involve addictive behaviors, life can get complicated very fast, made more so by their need to be free to make their own choices.
Helping an adolescent child get clean and sober can lead us through emotional war zones we never anticipated, and the key in the midst of it is to stand firm in our convictions while maintaining as compassionate a stance as we can muster toward our child. This is a challenge under the best of circumstances, and a solid sense of what needs to happen whether they go along with it or not is necessary to chart a course through these difficult waters.
There is a frightening array of...Read More
For many, many people across the globe, chemical dependency is an incredibly challenging obstacle standing in the way of leading a fulfilling life. Here in the Seattle area, we are seeing the increased devastation and pervasive effect that the opiate crisis is having on tens of thousands of our neighbors.
But how has this problem become so large, especially amongst young adults? These are the generations that grew up with programs like D.A.R.E. and education about drugs and alcohol provided in school, yet on the whole, we haven’t seen any societal shifts towards reducing the number of people suffering from addiction.
For those suffering from addiction, it can feel like a weight holding you back from achieving your goals. It’s like being in a boat, heading the direction you want to go, but there’s an anchor holding you down.
It might have been at first comforting to be in port. It kept you from the rocky seas and troubles that could be out there. However, as you look around, you see that the dock is catching fire, and even though you can see the devastation happening, you are now unable to leave. That anchor is heavy and it keeps tugging and pulling you back to the same place. You see the danger in staying, but it feels almost impossible to pull yourself away.
Dealing with chemical dependency is similar. Perhaps the drugs or alcohol started out as a...Read More
Do you think you or someone you love is an addict and/or alcoholic? Are you curious what kind of chemical dependency programs are available? Please continue to read to find out.
First of all, it is important to know that chemical dependency is a disease that is recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5th edition (DSM-5). There are people who still question that. This is a disease where a person becomes chemically dependent on a substance: drugs and/or alcohol.
As the disease progresses, the individual struggling continues to use substances even when they start to have negative consequences. These consequences can be many things, including: significant conflict in relationships, losing relationships, financial damage, physical issues like liver damage, Hepatitis C and many other medical concerns, including death.
People who become addicts are not always the stereotypical homeless person. They can be men, women, wealthy, poor, white, black . . . this disease can happen to anybody. In most cases, the individual wants to stop using substances or at least stop the negative consequences but cannot manage to do that on their own.
An addict will try many different efforts to try to “control” the use. These efforts could be: not using during work hours, only using on weekends, stopping after using a certain amount, not using when the kids are home, or switching substances.
There are so many ways an addict is going to try...Read More