From the first sip of coffee in the morning to the last episode of Netflix at night, addictions are everywhere. And despite what many people believe, it isn’t a personal flaw. Our brains are largely at fault for how easily we form addictions. And naturally, it won’t be easy to form an addiction to vegetables. No, instead the brain craves certain chemical structures. Substances like alcohol, marijuana, nicotine, and even sugar have chemical structures that the brain finds heavily addicting.
So, when even our brain is working against us, what hope is there in overcoming addiction? Thriveworks Columbus, OH (Polaris) believes there’s quite a lot of hope! We’ve seen people time after time overcome their addiction and regain control of their lives. It’s hard, there’s no avoiding that. But there’s a very distinct difference between hard and impossible. When something is just hard, you can still overcome it, it just might take a little hard work, perseverance, and a good support system.
The Addiction Counselors at Thriveworks Columbus, OH (Polaris) are here to encourage you when you’re feeling hopeless, support you when you’re feeling weak, and always provide an empathetic, nonjudgmental, helping hand at our convenient Polaris office, near Westerville, Worthington, and most all of Central Ohio.
What Are the Effects of Addiction and Substance Abuse?
The foundation of any addiction is the Dopamine cycle. Dopamine is the reward neurotransmitter- basically a messenger for the brain that lets it know when it is being rewarded. Normally, the brain has a very precise dopamine system. A drug or alcohol produces its own dopamine surge separate of the brain’s.
That separate dopamine surge is the “high” that makes drugs feel so good. The brain responds by lowering its own dopamine production to counteract the dopamine produced by the drug. But what happens when the drug leaves the system? The brain is in a dopamine deficit and needs the drug to get it back to normal. Addiction has taken root.
One of the most terrifying things about addiction is that it can feel like you have no control. Thriveworks Polaris Addiction and Substance Abuse counselors have years of training and experience to help you gain back that control. You are never “weak” or “bad” for struggling with an addiction. Oftentimes there are factors out of your control that contribute to an addiction. But recovery is always an option you can choose for yourself.
The brain can heal from an addiction much the same way it succumbed to it- by forming new habits (or reforming good habits). It’s called neuroplasticity, which just means that the brain is more like clay than solid brick. Addition can change it, but counseling can mold it back. Thriveworks Columbus, OH (Polaris) is excited to begin the process with you.
When Should I Get Help for My Addiction?
How do you know your drug use has gone beyond recreational and trespassed into an addiction? It’s a slow, downward slope that makes the drug use easy to rationalize. Maybe you’ve told yourself:
It helps me in the long run, by lowering my stress levels. Once I’m less stressed, I’ll stop.
I only do it with friends, it’s a way to connect!
I still get all my duties done. Really, I deserve it!
Maybe some of those statements are true! It all depends on your individual tolerance level. Tolerance level is the strength and frequency of drug use before addiction really forms. It will be different for everyone, and has many genetic, biological, and environmental factors.
If you or a loved one has even a passing concern, it’s worth talking to someone about. The quicker we stop the addiction, the easier the recovery process will be. If Thriveworks Columbus/Polaris isn’t the right fit for you, we can talk with you about other options. Thriveworks Polaris is just one option that can help you and your brain heal and pursue the life you’ve dreamed of.
Some more concrete signs that might point towards an addiction include:
- 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 exist on a large range of intensity, duration, and type. This list is far from exhaustive. Thriveworks Polaris understands the terrifying and isolating experience addiction is. But your situation is never hopeless. A little bit of support and professional guidance, along with your own determination and perseverance, are powerful weapons against addiction.
What Does Addiction Counseling Look Like?
So more goes into who you are than just your addiction. The passions, goals, and other struggles in your life are just as important. Thriveworks Columbus, OH (Polaris) always strives to draw on those other important aspects of your life as you’re recovering from addiction.
Addiction rarely comes alone. Whether it’s depression, anxiety, insomnia, low self-esteem, or any other additional problems, you deserve to be free of all of them. Those co-morbid issues are also something we can address in a session.
Our main goal will be to break the habit of addiction and remold your brain to a healthy state. It will always be individualized for you! You are a unique human being who deserves a unique plan that will best help you succeed.
Addiction can whisper the lie that it is everything in your life, and that you might fall apart without it. But that’s a lie. You deserve the chance to explore other aspects of who you are and the life you want to live.