People are addicted to nearly everything. When we talk about addiction, we normally think about substances, such as, illicit and prescription drugs, alcohol, caffeine and tobacco. Addictions can also be non-chemical addictions, which include shopping, gabling, Internet use, sex and even exercise.
Every year, the skilled coaches, psychologists, and therapists at Thriveworks Birmingham, MI help thousands of people who face all kinds of issues. Our staff at Thriveworks Birmingham addiction therapy can help you to not only overcome the dependency issue(s) you’re struggling with, but also find enduring change.
So if you live in Birmingham, MI, or the Detroit area, we have the skills and expertise to help you experience relief.
Portraits of Addiction
Daniele loves to play bingo. She spends hours on the Internet reading up on tips and strategies, often losing track of time. But as much as she enjoys researching about bingo, noting quite compares to being locked in at her board, waiting for the next number to be called. No one thought much of her preferred pastime until a friend passing by the neighborhood one day stopped in to say hello, and found her young children awake and alone late at night.
Stephen has always been considered a star employee. He quickly climbed the ranks at his local branch of a national bank, and is now in the running for a regional management position, despite being comparatively young. At first, he would only do cocaine when offered at parties. But now his frequent trips to the bathroom and “errands” outside of the building have piqued a work friend’s suspicions.
Addiction and Addiction Counseling: Key Thoughts and Definitions
Simply stated, an addiction is a physical or psychological dependence on a substance or activity. People can become addicted to almost anything, and are often developed as a way for coping with day-to-day stressors. The addicted individual becomes ensnared by the chronic behavioral patterns, and the cycle becomes nearly impossible for him or her to control. To hide the addiction (and/or to keep it funded), an addicted person often turns to other adverse activity.
Some addictions can provide immediately detrimental consequences — it depends on the individual and on the addiction — while the effects of other addictions may not be readily observable for an extended period of time. In either situation, a strong sign of addiction is continuing a behavior or activity despite the problems the behavior or activity causes.
In circumstances where a particular substance is being abused — especially when the substance is a “hard” drug like heroine or methamphetamine — our bodies learn to rely on the drug while also becoming increasingly tolerant to the intoxicating effects. The addict, then, is inclined to use more and more of the substance just to get through the day.
Many addictions, whether they are focused on a substance or an activity, begin as an experiment, but become a habit when the user notices a pleasurable effect, and returns to the substance or activity again and again.
These addiction serve as a way of dealing with or disguising other problems like anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or even just run-of-the-mill loneliness. The addicted individual may experience some “relief” from these problems when the addiction is carried out, but the relief is temporary, and the individual returns to their addiction for another quick “fix.” What he or she might not realize is that the addiction itself often fuels the original issue(s).
Signs and symptoms of addiction include:
- Obsessing over a behavior or substance
- Guilt and shame
- Negative consequences to self or others
- Failure to control actions
- Patterns of uncontrollable behaviors
- Substance use for a year or more
- Loss of engagement in former interest
- Otherwise inexplicable distance from family and friends
- Increasing patterns of behavior or substance use over time
- Mood swings
- Feelings of self-worthlessness or shame
- Impulse control problems — with food, drugs, sex or money
- Strong needs to be liked or approved of
- Behaviors or substance use to reduce anxiety
- Inability to manage daily life
Birmingham Addiction Counseling Tips for Overcoming Addiction
The negative effects of addiction are myriad, but the chief concerns, both for the individual and society as a whole, are wellness and safety, as it is not uncommon for an addicted person to ignore the safety of themselves and those around them while in pursuit of satisfying their perceived “need.”
A cocaine user, as an example, might not think twice about driving under the influence, even while children are present in the vehicle. A gambling addict might be willing to jeopardize personal (or family) financial stability at the mere chance of a potential win, regardless of the odds. Someone addicted to the internet might trade the restorative benefits of sleep for a few more hours online.
If you or someone you know is living with an addiction, understand that this is a problem and that immediate measures can be taken to help create a break from the dependency. Addiction is no insignificant matter — the life and wellbeing of you and your loved ones depend on you taking action right away.
Steps for helping someone (or yourself) overcome addiction include:
1. Preventing the behavior.
Addictions often turn into life-or-death situations. If you notice symptoms of addiction, showing someone you care can be more effective than telling them you care. Being actively involved in people’s lives (asking questions about their day, inviting them out to an activity) can help keep the addict from their normal routines of use and abuse.
If you are the one suffering from an addiction, speak to someone you know has your best interests at heart, someone who will operate from a position of concern rather than judgment. Ask for a ride to your first therapy session.
2. Encouraging a medical examination.
A skilled medical professional will be able to identify effects to the mind and body, and even recommend a counselor in the area who has had success treating the issue. They can provide objective information on the adverse ramifications of addiction, and healthy activities the addict can do to replace the negative habit.
3. Research Birmingham addiction therapy.
There are many addiction therapists in Birmingham, Michigan and the greater Detroit area, but an effective one will analyze the particulars of each scenario and develop a treatment plan that is customized to the individual’s needs. Our addiction counselors will help identify positive changes and potential causes of the dependency issue.
Schedule an Addiction Therapy Appointment at Thriveworks Birmingham, MI Near Detroit
Our Birmingham addiction counselors and psychologists are leaders in the field, and have been featured in trusted news outlets such as CNN, The Boston Globe, Mashable, Cult of Mac, Bleacher Report, Psychology Today, Prevention and many more.
Furthermore, Thriveworks Birmingham addiction counseling is dedicated to getting you the help you need as soon as you need it, not weeks after frustrating games of phone tag. It may be hard enough to admit you need help. We don’t want the scheduling process to add to that stress. So when you call, we’ll answer — day or night — and schedule with our first available session, which is often within 24 hours.
You don’t have to fight this alone. If you’re looking for therapy in the Detroit area, call us to learn how a Thriveworks Birmingham addiction counselor can help you thrive.