Chapel Hill Addiction Therapy

Addiction Counseling in Chapel Hill, NC—Addiction Counselors and Therapists

The neighbors and family knew James was a doting husband and a loving father. His employees knew James was a good boss and a successful businessman. No one knew, however, that James also was an addict. Like many others, James felt intense shame and guilt, and he hid his drinking for years. The addiction was only fueled in his isolation, and it grew. James told himself… if only he were stronger…if only he made different choices…if only he could muster more willpower. Addiction, however, is not a choice, and it is not treated by willpower, better choices, or being strong. Addiction sucked the life out of James until he reached rock bottom. James reached out for help. Through therapy and support groups, he and his family began to understand what an addiction is and how to treat it.

“I got sober. I stopped killing myself with alcohol. I began to think: ‘Wait a minute –
if I can stop doing this, what are the possibilities?’
And slowly it dawned on me that it was maybe worth the risk.”
― Craig Ferguson

Many people think of addiction and associate it with a substance (like prescription drugs, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, or opioids) or with an action (like sex, video games, gambling, shopping, or Internet). These activities and substances may be the face of addiction, but below the surface, addiction is all about brain balance. Addiction is a disease that rewrites the way people’s brains function. Addiction wires people’s brains to form an attachment to a certain activity or substance. It almost always offers promises of healing and love and care, but addiction always breaks its promises.

Thriveworks Counseling in Chapel Hill addiction counselors understand how addiction works and the treatment options that are effective against it. We work with many people who are fighting an addiction, and we have often provided the help and deep support they need to achieve sobriety and more.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Addiction?

When addiction changes an individual’s brain chemistry, it shows in their emotions, behaviors, and bodies. These manifestations may include…

  1. Behavioral Red Flags for Addiction: These include missed work/school/personal engagement, isolating oneself, relationship problems, difficulty in school, keeping secrets, financial problems (particularly, needing money), lying to loved ones (especially to cover the addiction).
  2. Physical Red Flags for Addiction (especially for substance abuse): These include being hyperactive or lethargic (depending upon the drug), red eyes, dilated pupils, excessive sniffing while not ill, repetitive speech, being undernourished or pale, weight loss, body odor that is unpleasant or different.
  3. Emotional Red Flags for Addiction: Obnoxious, silly, easily confused, an inability to handle stress, defensiveness, loss of interest in people/activities that were once valued, irritability, lack of awareness about the problem: denial, rationalizations, minimizations, blame, diversions.

Addiction is almost like a parasite that puts itself first, and risks an individual’s well-being to survive. Addiction can even risk the well-being of an individual’s loved ones. It is a serious illness. The three C’s of addiction summarizes the severity of this disease: Consequences, Cravings, and Control. Addiction takes control over the frequency and use of the substance or activity. When people experience the negative consequences of these actions, the cravings continue.

Addiction and Risk Factors

Certain factors can increase an individual’s risk of developing an addiction. Family history of addiction is a big factor. Because addiction is a disease, it is unsurprised that genetics would play a role. Circumstances can also play a role. In particular, peer pressure and emotional numbing are linked to the development of an addiction.

\Many people first use the substance or engage in the activity with friends. Over time, occasional use can escalate to addiction and compulsion. This is often true for teens, but adults are vulnerable to peer pressure as well. Additionally, when people experience severe life circumstances like abuse, abandonment, poverty, and neglect, they are searching for healing. Addiction offers many promises—lies that the addiction can heal shame, anger, guilt, fear, boredom, and loneliness. However, addiction never delivers on its promises.

Appointments for Addiction Therapy at Thriveworks Counseling in Chapel Hill, NC

If you are struggling with control, cravings, and consequences of addiction, help and treatment are available. You do not have to fight alone. The staff at Thriveworks Counseling Chapel Hill would like to say:

  1. Addiction is not weakness—it is an illness that affects many courageous and strong people.
  2. Addiction is not a choice—you did not choose addiction, and you cannot choose you way out of it. There are better treatments available.
  3. Addiction is not rare—you are not alone. Many people are struggling.

Are you ready to start therapy for addiction? Let’s get started. When you call our office, you may be meeting with your counselor within 24 hours. We also work with many insurance providers and accept many forms of insurance. Weekend and evening appointments are offered. Everyone deserves to receive the help they need to fight their addiction—when they need it.

Let’s work together against addiction. Call Thriveworks Counseling in Chapel Hill today.

Thriveworks Counseling Chapel Hill

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Overall Rating: 5★★★★★ based on 9 5 1 9 reviews. See all reviews
Thriveworks Counseling Chapel Hill


Ariel is a compassionate, reliable, supportive counselor. The work she has done with foster children, birth families and foster families has been amazing to witness. She brings so much light and hope to the children and families she works with. She is truly a gift.
Thriveworks Counseling Chapel Hill

Professional review

Ariel Harris is an excellent therapist. I have worked with her in professional settings and she is kind with clients. She has worked with a variety of clientele from all areas of life, and is knowledgeable in many topics. She is supportive of her clients and genuinely cares about helping them reach their goals and be successful. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking to improve their life.
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Counseling experience

She did an exceptional job as a counselor. She asked great questions and knew how to get to the root of the problems. Thanks!
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Cindy Goulding

Cindy Goulding is a very accomplished and experienced therapist. For Cindy, being a mental health professional is a calling not simply a job. She cares deeply about the success of her clients and makes them feel comfortable with her grounded and non-judgmental approach. Cindy is highly compassionate as a person. This is not a skill for her; it's who she is at her core. Her relentless pursuit to understand the experience and perspective of others is unmatched. Most people want a competent therapist they can trust with their most vulnerable fears, stories and relationship struggles. Cindy Goulding is a top notch choice!
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Topnotch Counseling

Cindy Goulding is a topnotch counselor. I have worked with her professionally and referred patients to her for both her personal training and her counseling skills. She has written a very nice book on how to manage weight family style.
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Exceptional character

Cindy is a very caring, honest and responsible person. She is very understanding and compassionate. Her skills are exceptionally sharp, and she has high integrity. She is very thorough and always thinking of how to resolve difficult situations. She is open-minded, non-judgmental and an asset to anyone working with her.
Thriveworks Counseling Chapel Hill

Great Therapist

I am very pleased with my therapist. She provides insights to my emotions and behavior. she helps me explore new ways of thinking that helps me turn away from negativity. She helps me understand the origins of some of my behaviors. I look forward to continue working with her to help me attain a more fufilled and happy life.
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A partner through a journey

It’s difficult to say how someone can impact your life. In a short time Donna has impacted my life and helped me see there is a journey. Although the journey is not clear to me, Donna listens with a compassionate heart and deep intent. She is truly engaged and seeks to help you understand as you tell your story. It is the telling of the story that is more important than the words, a wise person told me. Donna very much wants to hear your story. I’m lucky and grateful to have found her.
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Thriveworks Counseling

Meeting with my counselor has been quite helpful to my understanding of a family member's mental health diagnosis. Her ability to clarify behaviors and share her knowledge has been epic, especially related to high-functioning autism, and to proposing different ways that I can work through challenges, all the while ensuring my own self-care.
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Thriveworks Counseling & Psychiatry Chapel Hill

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  • 1516 E Franklin St Suite 200
    Chapel Hill, NC 27517

  • Mon-Fri:7AM-9:30PM

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