From the initial caffeine fix in the morning to the last Netflix episode at night, addictions perpetuate our lives. It’s not a personal flaw—addictions are something our brains are hardwired to form. But of course, we never form addictions over vegetables. It’s certain chemical structures that can trick out brain into craving them. Chemicals like alcohol, marijuana, nicotine, and even sugar have the right structure that makes our brain crave it.
So what hope is there, when even our brain is working against us? The counselors at Thriveworks Colorado Springs know there is a lot of hope! Many people have come to us and left with renewed control over their lives. It’ll be difficult, nothing can change that. But hard and impossible are very different thing. Hard just means it’ll take a little more perseverance and support to overcome it. But it is fully possible.
The Addictions Counselors at Thriveworks Colorado Springs are here to walk with you as you battle your addiction, providing support, encouragement, and guidance when you need it.
What Are the Effects of Addiction and Substance Abuse?
The Dopamine cycle is why addictions are formed. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter (a brain messenger) that alerts the brain when it is being rewarded. It is usually a very precise system. When a drug or alcohol enters the system, it produces its own separate surge of dopamine.
That surge is what makes drugs feel so good. In response, the brain will lower its own production of dopamine. The problem occurs when the drug leaves, taking its dopamine high with it. Now you’re left with a system that isn’t producing enough dopamine. The deficit is what creates a drug craving, and eventually drug dependence.
Addictions can make it feel like you have no control. This is a frightening predicament! Thriveworks Colorado Springs Addiction and Substance Abuse has years of training and experience that can guide you back to the path of control. Struggling with an addiction doesn’t make you “weak” or “bad”. Many factors of addictions are out of our control, like genetic predisposition. Recovery, however, is always a choice you can choose.
Just like how an addiction molded your brain and formed new habits, healing from an addiction will require us to practice new habits and remold the brain. The term neuroplasticity describes how the brain is much more like moldable clay than unmovable bricks. Thriveworks Colorado Springs is excited to begin the process of healing and growth with you.
When Should I Get Help for My Addictions?
When has drug or alcohol use gone past recreational and into dangerous addiction? It’s easy to rationalize drug use until it becomes all-consuming. Maybe you’ve told yourself it’s okay for now by saying:
It lowers my stress levels! Once I have less going on, I’ll stop.
It’s a social outlet. I use it to hang out with friends!
It’s not affecting how I work. I deserve it!
Some of those may be true! A lot of addictions form based on our individual tolerance levels. Tolerance level is how often and at what strength you can use a drug before true addiction forms. It depends on a lot of different factors such as genetics and your current environment.
Because of the many various factors, it’s best to seek help as soon as you or a loved one has concern. The quicker steps are taken to stop an addiction, the easier the recovery process will be. Even if we decide Thriveworks Colorado Springs isn’t right for you, we can help you make an educated next step.
If you have hesitations, look for these signs that might point towards an addiction:
- Cravings for the drug/alcohol continue throughout day
- Use becomes regular and chronic
- Unsustainable or reckless spending patterns
- Painful physical reactions to withdrawal (headache, anxiety, inability to sleep or oversleeping, muscle aches)
- Changes in social patterns or groups
- Lying or being secretive
- Unable to feel happy or controlled without the drug
- Mood changes
Symptoms come in many different varieties, so this list is far from complete. Thriveworks Colorado Springs understands how isolating and terrifying an addiction can be. But there is always hope. With some support and professional guidance alongside your own determination and perseverance, recovery is more than possible.
What Does Addiction Counseling Look Like?
You are much more than your addiction. All of your passions, goals, and outside struggles are just as important. Thriveworks Colorado Springs believes in a counseling process that will draw on all aspects of yourself to help guide us towards a more complete you, one without addiction.
Addiction hardly strikes alone. Depression, anxiety, insomnia, low self-esteem, and many other mental and physical health problems can rise with addiction. These are called co-morbid issues and is something we can address in a session.
The main focus of a counseling session with Thriveworks Colorado Springs is to break the habit of addiction and remold your brain back to its healthy state. Of course, this process will always be unique to who you are and what your goals are.
Addiction can make us believe that it is the center of everything, and that we’ll fall apart without it. That’s a lie. And you deserve the chance to explore the truth beyond it. Who you are and the life you want to live are compatible, we just have to find the right path to start journeying there.