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Three Signs of Addiction

Addiction 4Addiction is a term that is often overused in our culture, referring to specific moments of weakness instead of the ongoing destructive illness that it actually is. Addiction is a preoccupation with something such as drugs, alcohol or food that ends up negatively affecting and interfering with other important aspects of life including personal relationships, work, or overall wellbeing. So how can you spot addiction? Here are some signs to watch for:

  1. An inability to stop or limit the behavior despite a desire to do so. Maybe you’ve set a daily two drink maximum for yourself but continue to exceed it. If you feel frustrated or stressed by your lack of control, or if family or friends have approached you concerned about the issue, then it might be time to re-evaluate.
  2. Persisting regardless of negative outcomes. The effects of addiction will typically spill over into other areas of a person’s life. You might benefit from professional help if the compulsion results in declining health, problems at work, trouble with the law, strained relationships with loved ones or co-workers, or financial issues.
  3. When the behavior evolves into an obsession or is used as a coping mechanism. For a lot of individuals, dependency has a trigger such as divorce, the loss of a loved one, poor family relationships, stress, or a major life event which may seem insurmountable. Learning proper coping skills, engaging in alternative methods of stress relief, and talking things out with someone can often be deterrents for substance abuse and addiction.

Family Guidance Center wants you to start the New Year off with a fulfilling and healthy life. Anyone can find himself powerless to addiction in the right circumstances, but that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. Contact Family Guidance Center  to learn more about available mental and behavioral health services for a better you.

Addressing Issues of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

It’s not uncommon for substance abuse and mental illness to exist together. Drugs and alcohol are often used as a coping mechanism to deal with the symptoms of mental disorders, especially before affected individuals receive a diagnosis and don’t understand why they are feeling a certain way. Other times, substance abuse can lead to depression or anxiety when things start to deteriorate at home, work, or school because of the effects of drugs or alcohol.

Coping with either substance abuse or mental illness alone can be difficult. Confronting both disorders presents other unique challenges. Per figures from NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, up to half of all people affected by severe mental illness abuse alcohol or drugs. NAMI also estimates that nearly 30 percent of all individuals diagnosed with a mental disorder will engage in substance abuse.

Research shows that individuals living with both drug addiction and mental illness have a greater chance of relapsing and developing more serious mental health conditions. Additionally, symptoms of mental health disorders often worsen with continued substance use. This may be due to interactions between the alcohol or drugs and required medications. Or, it could be the result of irregular or discontinued use of prescribed medications.

Treating co-existing disorders requires a combined approach addressing issues of both substance abuse and mental illness. Per information from SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, effective treatment for both conditions should:

1. Help affected individuals set short and long term recovery goals
2. Connect participants with support networks and employment services that will aid in recovery
3. Educate regarding the impact and role of substance abuse in one’s life
4. Provide therapy designed with both disorders in mind.

It is possible for individuals living with co-occurring disorders to live a normal, healthy, and productive life. Family Guidance Center can help. Family Guidance works within the community to offer mental health and addiction treatment services for lasting recovery. To learn more, visit our website at https://fgcnow.org/.



Addiction Takes a Toll

Drugs can interfere with a person’s ability to think and act clearly. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there’s a biological reason for this – compounds in drugs disrupt neurotransmitters in the brain, flooding the brain with the feel good chemical dopamine. Over time, the person using drugs has to have more and more in order to achieve the same high as before. This is because the brain adjusts to the in pouring of dopamine and stops producing as much naturally. Over time, drugs can cause permanent damage to the parts of the brain that control reasoning, judgment, and learning, challenging the user’s ability to think rationally.

Those who engage in drug use may partake in risky behaviors that further put their health and protection in jeopardy. Examples include having sex with numerous partners or not using protection, sharing needles with others, driving while high, or stealing from others to support one’s drug habit, which could result in incarceration. Mental Illness 1

A drug habit makes it hard to focus on the world outside of drugs. It may be difficult to hold down a job or go to school. Parents may neglect their children. Relationships with family and friends suffer and lack of income and stability could result in homelessness.

While the effect of drugs may be pleasurable initially, overtime, they take a toll on a person’s physical and psychological health. Drugs like amphetamines cause double vision, sweating, sleep problems, hypertension, and increased breathing and heart rate. Over time, a person may experience paranoia and loss of touch with reality. Street drugs like cocaine and heroin cause extreme cravings that could lead to overdose. Even household drugs like cough medicines, when abused, can cause nausea, hypertension, deliria, unconsciousness, and permanent brain injury. Breathing inhalants like glue and paint thinners is also extremely toxic and could result in death.

Breaking the cycle of drug abuse is a difficult feat to tackle on one’s own. It requires a strong commitment to getting better and oftentimes, the help of a professional. Family Guidance Center offers both inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment services. To learn more, visit familyguidance.org.


National Recovery Month: Celebrating Personal Success Stories and Life After Addiction

Recovery 2The individuals living with the struggles of addiction are normal, everyday people. They are neighbors, friends, coworkers, and maybe even a parent, sibling, or spouse. For Cody, a young father of two, the realization of an alcohol problem came with seeing the disappointment on his kids’ faces when an afternoon of consuming alcohol meant he couldn’t take them to the park.

But often, the roots of addiction run much deeper than just impulse control. After deciding to receive help through Family Guidance Center Addiction Treatment Services, Cody said he has learned to recognize the emotions that are so deeply intertwined with his recovery. Without Family Guidance, he says, “I wouldn’t be the person I am today…”

The month of September has been set aside to celebrate National Recovery Month and the strides that those working through recovery and clinicians in the field have accomplished. Family Guidance Center would like to raise awareness of the fact that addiction treatment services don’t just impact the affected individual but rather the entire community at large.

Ben is another life that has been changed through the support of Family Guidance’s Addiction Treatment Services. Hooked on the narcotic Dilauded since his teenage years, Ben continued to struggle with the consequences of his addiction for eight long years. The drug caused him to isolate himself from society, cutting him off from others and leaving him financially stripped and dependent upon his parents.

At 21, Ben had had enough but needed help learning to cope with the triggers that would send him back into dependency. While Ben knew he could count on his family for support, he could sense their loss of heart. Ben realized that treatment can provide the necessary tools, but affected individuals also have to be willing to “…apply the footwork.”

Addiction is a disease affecting the brain, and if people could simply say no, they would. FamilyGuidanceCenter has a successful history of helping individuals in their journey through recovery. Addiction Treatment Services provides both inpatient and outpatient care for alcohol dependency, compulsive gambling, and drug addiction including meth, cocaine, and prescription painkillers. Ben and Cody are both examples that there is life after addiction. ContactFamily Guidance Center to learn more about area services.

Together, Walking the Road to Recovery

Mental health disorders, similar to chronic physical health ailments like diabetes and hypertension, areRecovery 1 typically both manageable and treatable. While recovery is a journey, it is rewarding and fulfilling if one is open to the process.

September is National Recovery Month, a period set aside to honor the achievements of those living with substance abuse disorders and the individuals who have dedicated their time to working in the field of recovery. The focus of National Recovery Month for 2013 is the element of prevention and the different methods by which individuals can pursue treatment. Many people may not be aware of their options. National Recovery Month is a time to increase awareness and accessibility of resources and programs available for those in need.

Recovery helps individuals take back control of their lives so that they can move forward with purpose, achieve better health, and lead with a new sense of direction. Successful recovery programs look at four aspects of daily life including home life, sense of purpose, overall health, and community support.

An individual who does not have a safe environment in which to reside or who lacks a fulfillment from such activities as working, going to school, volunteering or caring for others, will find it difficult to move forward with recovery. Recovery programs aim to help individuals gain their independence, lead meaningful and productive lives, and make healthy life choices. Forming relationships with others in the community who also encourage and support the recovery process are an integral in achieving success.

The process of recovery starts with seeking help. It may help to create a recovery plan. Putting a recovery plan in writing is beneficial for determining individual objectives and what is hoped to be achieved, how those particular goals will be accomplished, and any triggers which may impact recovery. It’s also good to monitor changes in mental health and discuss these changes with a professional.

Family Guidance Center has both inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment programs as well as professional counseling for both individuals and families. Recovery is possible. To learn more about addiction treatment services, contact Family Guidance Center.